• Gunther Schuller
  • Song and Dance (1990)

  • Associated Music Publishers Inc (World)
  • 4+2pic+afl.2+ca.3+Ebcl+bcl+cbcl.2asx+tsx+barsx.2+cbn/444+2euph.2/timp.perc/hp.pf/db
  • Violin
  • 16 min

Programme Note

Commissioned by: University of Minnesota Wind Ensemble
World Premiere: February 23, 1990

Composer Note:

Song and Dance for solo violin and large wind ensemble is in two movements, both existing previously in different contexts and here orchestrated for wind ensemble (or Concert Band). The Song part of the work, here titled “Quiet Music”, in its original form is the slow movement of my first violin concerto. Marked Adagio molto sostenuto, the movement divides in two parts: a chorale-like declamation in the ensemble and a song-like response by the solo violin. In each successive recapitulation, this bipartite thematic material is subjected to instrumental-timbral variation and melodic embellishment, the last of these constituting the climax of the movement, followed by a serene and tranquil coda.

The Dance part of the work, titled “Fiddle Music”, is in fact good old country fiddle music, both in the traditional Irish gigs-and-reels manner and the jazzier later “Western Swing” variety, couched, of course, in a contemporary chromatic language. The rhythmic drive of the music unwinds twice, relaxing to reposeful cadences. But a sudden no-nonsense ending, as it were, thwarts an attempt at the “third chorus”.

— Gunther Schuller


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