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for large orchestra

Year:  1969 Instrumentation:  3*3*23*; 06*31; 4 perc.; piano, celesta; strings | (Perc: glock., vib., cymbals, 2 susp. cymbals, side drum, tenor drum, bass drum, timp.)

Year:  1969
Instrumentation  3*3*23*; 06*31; 4 perc.; pi...

Jack Speirs

Composer:   Jack Speirs

Films, Audio & Samples

Jack Speirs: Fioriture - AUDIO

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Kenneth Young introduces 'F...

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Commissioned for the centenary celebrations of the University of Otago, New Zealand, in 1969, this work is built in five sections arranged as an arch. The first section consists of four 'fanfares' - the first fanfare is for six trumpets characterised by crescendo-diminuendo effects and long sustained notes which rise steadily through a series of semitonal steps to a climax; the second fanfare is for woodwind and percussion, the third is an extended version of the first, and the final fanfare modifies the second. This section leads directly into an agile, toccata-like allegro based on material from the trumpet fanfares. The third, central section is a long lento based on material from the woodwind fanfares. Here, biting dissonance and angular melody is replaced by gentle melodic lines and an ever-present backdrop of soft string chords. The fourth section returns to the character and ideas of the second leading to the work's major climax which subsides into the original fanfares with which the work opened. Now, however, the music is turned back to front so that the gradual intensification of the opening becomes a process of gradual relaxation.

Commissioned note

Commissioned for the centenary of University of Otago in 1969

Contents note

One movement

Performance history

14 Aug 1980: Performed by the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, conductor Jack Speirs