• Elliott Schwartz
  • Rainbow (1996)

  • Margun Music (World)
  • 333.[4sx].3/4231/timp.3[=4]perc/hp.pf/str
  • Orchestra Players
  • 7 min

Programme Note

My orchestral overture called Rainbow was composed for the 1996 European Youth Music Festival, held in Copenhagen, Denmark. The work was premiered by the combined group of all participating orchestras from many countries -- literally thousands of players -- as the "grand finale" of the Festival's final concert. It has since been re-scored for a single orchestra (!), but even in this version I hope that a similar sense of grand occasion still prevails. In working on Rainbow I chose to create a fabric of ostinati and pedals; these serve as grounding for brief figurations passing from one instrumental color to another (and heightening the effect of spatial separation). I also tried to evoke images of youth, vigor, exuberance, and international understanding, qualities which were all amply displayed during the week-long festival for which the piece was composed. In fact, the very title "Rainbow" should be interpreted on two different levels: as a reference to the many dazzling timbres of the orchestra, and also as a paradigm of integration and cooperation on a global scale. --Elliot Schwartz