thomas joseph

COMPOSER

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Concert Music for Orchestra

Program Notes

 

Concert Music for Orchestra was developed from a spontaneous ideation of the opening

theme. The initial idea dawned on the composer, with the theme itself spawning out of nowhere

from the pizzicato strings and eventually devolving into the rest of the work. Concert Music is

loosely based on a sonata form. The development is not confined to a specific location, but

instead, is spread out through the work. There are 3 major themes that are utilized throughout the

work while a few others-- born into existence from the major themes-- are intertwined into the

body of the composition and juxtaposed against one another.

 

The initial design of the piece consisted of solo-like style of writing in the wind instruments

with a string orchestra accompaniment-- a small chamber orchestra specifically. Pure colors,

transparency, and small timbre groupings were the initial focal point. However, the demand for

more instruments later in the work created large areas of more aggressive and voluminous

orchestration, while a more chamber and individualized approach to the woodwinds still

continued to be featured in some other prominent sections. The brass instruments were treated

similarly to the winds as they remained soloistic throughout the majority of the piece.

 

Several techniques are used in this composition for the purpose of variety such as flutter

tounging, string tremolos, pizzicato, muted brass, drastic dynamic changes and distorted echo

effects. The tempo is never changed in the piece, although it may seem to do so due to

fluctuations of texture, energy, meter, and style. The conclusion of the piece returns to its initial

material in a retrograde fashion. This work's most attractive feature may be its mix of varying

styles and constant developing variation with the purpose of creating an atmosphere of constant

change and evolution.

Audio Mp3 performed by Old Dominion University's Symphony Orchestra 2011

Sample Score PDF