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I have created this site in order to provide performers, listeners and composers with a description of a composer's experiences with the creative process. The posts will provide discussions of the inspirations, challenges, and successes of a composer from the inception of the piece to the culmination in performance. I will provide a link to where you can see and hear the works in progress. Comments and questions are always welcomed. They will not posted unless you grant me permission.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Concertino 2nd Movement

For the second movement of Concertino, I decided to adapt a 1978 composition of mine that was composed for the Bilger Duo with orchestra. It was a two movement work, beginning with a slow movement followed by a fast movement. The idea of recycling some of my music is very appealing to me. With over 250 compositions to my name, it is not always easy to come up with original works. I have an interesting story to relate regarding this.

A few years ago, I was a visiting composer at Mansfield University where Dr. Joe Murphy was performing several of my pieces. Just before the concert, he was rehearsing my Four Spanish Dances for saxophone and marimba and the concert began with my Sonata for saxophone and piano. When the concert began, I thought he left the music to my Spanish Dances on the stand and started playing that piece instead of the Sonata. It turned out both pieces began almost the same way and I was unaware of this until I heard them back to back. I wonder how many other composers borrow unconsciously from themselves.

In the case of the Concertino, I am borrowing consciously. The original work has had one performance in 30 years! Since it just sits in my file cabinet, why not give it new life? There are some good ideas in this piece, but I am struck by two observations as I adapt it. First is the amount of dissonance that I found acceptable in 1978. In my adaptation, I removed a lot of the dissonance. The second observation is the immaturity of developing my ideas and my instrumentation. As a result, I removed the former concerto from my catalog and I'm using the material in this new setting. I will probably do the same with the fast part for the last movement.

The second movement has two main sections, a very slow and rubato section and a slightly faster contrapuntal section. At M 43, I removed a lot of the dissonant counterpoint and replaced it with some syncopated chords in the trombones and tuba that is echoed by the timpani. At M. 48, I used some of the counterpoint from the previous work and linked it together with shorter syncopated sections in the trombones and tuba and shorter answering in the timpani. This sections builds nicely to a climax. The movement returns to the free tempo and ends with a suspended resolution as it will go directly into the fast last movement.

To see and hear what I have composed thus far, go to http://www.cooppress.net/concertino_blog.html

Dr. B

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