• Robert Xavier Rodríguez
  • Oktoechos, Concerto Grosso for Two Groups of Soloists and Orchestra (1983)

  • G Schirmer Inc (World)

Commissioned by The Dallas Symphony in conjunction with the Meet the Composer Orchestra Residency Program

  • 3(pic)3(ca)3(bcl)3(cbn)/4331/timp.3perc/hp.pf/str
  • 18 min

Programme Note

Composer note:
The title of Oktoechos refers to the ancient system of Byzantine chant, in which eight different melodic types were drawn from a single scale formation. Here each of the eight soloists creates an individual melodic contour out of a common kernel of rhythmic and melodic material. The soloists are divided into two groups of four, each containing a member of the orchestra's four timbral families (string, woodwind, brass. and percussion). On the conductor's left are four soloists who play in the high register: violin, clarinet, trumpet, and percussion (vibraphone, marimba, temple blocks, and triangle); on the right are the low soloists: cello, bassoon, tenor trombone, and piano. These four strong timbral groupings in the orchestra contrast sharply with the registral groupings of the soloists; hence the dramatic conflict which shapes the piece.

— Robert X. Rodríguez