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Reflections in Thirds

for orchestra

Year:  2005 Instrumentation:  2222; 4431; timp., 2 perc; hp; strings | (Perc: 3 Susp. Cymbals, Vibraphone, Tam Tam, Triangle, Tubular Bells, Snare Drum)

Year:  2005
Instrumentation  2222; 4431; timp., 2 perc; ...

Composer:   Jonathan Besser

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Jonathan Besser: Reflection...

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This is atmospheric and layered music.

Compositionally the whole work is strictly structured on a 12-note Tone Row. The Tone Row used throughout is made up of a string of major and minor thirds. Normally these thirds are the building blocks of triadic harmony – they make the difference between sad and happy, simple and complex chords. In this music the thirds exist as augmented chords, slowly moving around the orchestral sections, acting both tonally and atonally.

I composed this piece leading up to flying back too New York City in June 2005. It is a mediation on the New York Night skyline reflecting on the dark Hudson River.

Difficulty note

Suitable for performance by professional and semi-professional orchestras

Performance history

03 May 2006: Performed by the NZSO, conductor Hamish McKeich