Chamber Concerto (2000-2002)

for Violin, Piano, and Ensemble

Solo Violin, Solo Piano, (

Duration: 13 minutes

Program Note
While by now the notion of concerto as metaphor for the struggle between the individual and the collective is perhaps strained, I think it still provides a good frame for understanding the narrative of such a work. Instruments become then characters and on a larger scale the ramifications of their interaction over the course of a composition belies a certain humanity beyond the abstract world of tones. This idea of characters at play, whether in something as simple as basic counterpoint or something more complex, such as layers of musical sound, is a concept I have been working with in my composition for some time now.

In composing my Chamber Concerto I hoped to explore a "counterpoint of layers" as it were; instead of setting individual notes against each other, I aimed to set composites against each other. To continue a fighting metaphor, it is the difference beyond two boxers and two squadrons. In my concerto, the individual members of the orchestra coalesce into groups to assail or assist the violin soloist in a lyrical struggle with the ensemble as a whole and its own perhaps nemesis, the more mechanical piano. At the same time, by organizing into larger units, a collective manages to enhance its point and in a way this challenges and perhaps contradicts the notion of individual versus collective, in that, at the same time the individual struggles against and attempts to sway the collective, the collective does the same for the individual, much as when groups unite to confront a common enemy or a school of thought challenges an individual's views. Influence can derive from both one and many.

The concerto was composed over a two year period punctured by a nearly one year hiatus when I stopped composing all together. In some respects I see it as a retrospective work that sums up many of the compositional ideas that had previously been in my mind, while at the same time remembering a lyricism that characterized my earliest compositions.
      - Ostrava, August, 2003

OCNM Ensemble
Zsolt Nagy, conductor
Theresa Salomon, violin
Reiko Futing, piano

26 August 2003
Janacek Conservatory
Ostrava, Czech Republic



Score Sample
Score in Preparation