A Pair of Concert Openers from Avner Dorman

A Pair of Concert Openers from Avner Dorman
Avner Dorman regaled audiences and orchestras with two new concert openers this spring.

Siklòn was commissioned by The Arsht Center in Miami FL to celebrate the center’s 10th anniversary as well as the first decade of The Cleveland Orchestra’s residency there. The orchestra premiered it with Giancarlo Guerrero conducting on March 17 2016.
Siklòn is a 7-minute stemwinder that starts explosively and ends up in an ecstatic, radiant C major in which the whole orchestra is piling rhythm upon rhythm as a simple scale climbs out of it into the heavens.
— Greg Stepanich, Palm Beach Arts Paper

Siklòn…is skillfully conceived and considerably more artful than many contemporary fanfare-oriented concert openers.…The premiere proved an instant hit, and the score was enthusiastically cheered by the audience.
— Lawrence Budmen, Miami Herald

Siklòn, Haitian Creole for cyclone, scored for a large orchestra, is celebratory and upbeat, driving relentlessly forward, focused more on rhythm than on melody, and suggestive of stormy weather.…Piccolo and trumpets provide bright colors, and a passage dominated by woodwinds was a highlight. Siklòn reaches an optimistic conclusion.
— David M. Rice, Classical Source
After Brahms, commissioned and premiered by the Lexington [KY] Philharmonic, is an homage to the romantic, musical style of Brahms. Dorman is the orchestra's Saykaly Garbulinska composer-in-residence this season. The orchestra premiered After Brahms under Music Director Scott Terrell on April 15 2016.
The first movement uses the accompaniment of Brahms’ Intermezzo, opus 118, number 1 — but a clashing new theme in the brass overpowers it. The second movement quotes from the first opus 119 Intermezzo, but it soon evolves into its own melody…amid a tonal landscape permeated with exquisite dissonances hanging in the air and delicately resolving. Finally, the third movement, though containing no actual music by Brahms, fully embraces the spirit of the older composer. The harmony still holds many modern elements…
— Carmen Geraci, LexGo
Photo: Avner Dorman observes a Siklòn rehearsal. Credit: Courtesy The Cleveland Orchestra.

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