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Orchestra Works


All orchestra works are published by Theodore Presser Company. Details and links are supplied below on your purchasing options.
  • Blurrr (2003) 4’30” • full orchestra
    INSTRUMENTATION
    3333 4331 piano, timpani, 3 perc, strings

    ORDERING SCORES
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    416-41493 • $23.99 • full score (small) • click to order
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    PR.416414930 • $23.99 • full score (small) • click to order
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    PROGRAM NOTES
    Blurrr was commissioned by the Minnesota Orchestra as part of their outreach program to school children. The program note is written for children:

    In my piece
    Blurrr, I explored what I could do with a short, simple melody. After a brief introduction, you will hear a melody played by a solo clarinet. Every time you hear that melody after that, it will sound different from the original melody. For example, sometimes I lengthen the melody by repeating some of its notes or by adding new notes, and sometimes I shorten the melody. I also poked holes in the melody, so instead of hearing notes, you will hear silence. In addition, I occasionally added some harmony to to the melody (which means adding notes above or below the notes of the melody), so instead of hearing one note, you will hear two notes at the same time.

    I also experimented with orchestral color. Color means how I mix instruments together to create different, unique sounds. For example, a melody played by a flute and a clarinet will sound very different from a melody played by an oboe and violin. Be sure to listen to all the different instruments I use to play the melody. In addition, I have added some other interesting sounds, such as lots of trills (which are two alternating notes played very rapidly), downward glissandos in the strings, and even a police siren!
    -S.G.

  • Inner Demons (2007) 11’30” • string orchestra

    AUDIO
    Recorded sound courtesy of the U.S. Marine Band®. Use of the recorded sound does not constitute or imply endorsement by the Department of Defense, U.S. Marine Corps or U.S. Marine Band®. The terms U.S. Marine Band® and “The President’s Own®“ are registered trademarks of the U.S. Marine Corps, used with permission.
    Commissioned by Peter Austin and Music in the Loft

    ORDERING SCORES
    Theodore Presser Company
    416-41495 • $28.99 • full score (small) • click to order
    416-41495L • $50.99 • full score (large) •
    click to order
    Parts rental • click to order
    Sheetmusicplus.com
    PR.416414950 • $28.99 • full score (small) • click to order
    PR.41641495L • $50.99 • full score (large) •
    click to order

    PROGRAM NOTES
    Inner Demons depicts a man as he loses his mind. This piece contains four themes: a tarantella, a demented waltz, a scherzo, and the Appalachian folk hymn “The Wayfaring Stranger”. The themes are stated quite briskly until arriving at the hymn. This theme consumes the man; it destroys his mind and he melts down. As his mind is slowly rebuilt, his thoughts become increasingly chaotic, until elements of all four themes are heard simultaneously. Inner Demons is an arrangement of the third and second movements (in this order) of my String Quartet No. 2: Demons and Angels.
    -S.G.

  • Mythology Symphony (2007-2013) 40’ • full orchestra
    INSTRUMENTATION
    3333 4331 harp, piano, timpani, 3 perc, strings
    Excerpt of Movement 1:
    Becoming Medusa
    Excerpt of Movement 2:
    Penelope Waits
    Excerpt of Movement 3: The Lovely Sirens
    Excerpt of Movement 4:
    The Fates of Man
    Excerpt of Movement 5:
    Pandora Undone

    AUDIO

    Excerpts performed by the Chicago College of the Performing Arts Orchestra; Alondra de la Parra, conductor
    From
    Mythology Symphony, Cedille Records CDR 90000 160
    Available from
    Cedille Records
    Used by permission. All rights reserved.
    Purchase recording
    Commissioned by the Detroit Symphony, Albany Symphony, and the Chicago College of the Performing Arts

    ORDERING SCORES
    Theodore Presser Company
    This is a rental item. Go to http://www.presser.com/shop/mythology-symphony.html or email rental@presser.com
    Perusal score

    PROGRAM NOTES
    The Mythology Symphony was progressively written over several years, starting with a commission in 2007 by the Detroit Symphony for Becoming Medusa. The Albany Symphony followed in 2009 with commissions for The Lovely Sirens and The Fates of Man. The Symphony was completed when the Chicago College of Performing Arts of Roosevelt University commissioned Penelope Waits and Pandora Undone. The entire symphony received its world premiere by the Chicago College of Performing Arts Orchestra in January of 2015 under the baton of Alondra de la Parra.

    To read the extended program notes, as well as to view perusal scores, click on each movement title. All program notes are written by the composer.

  • Shadow (2001) 9’ • chamber orchestra
    INSTRUMENTATION
    2222  2110 pno, timp, 1 perc, strings

    AUDIO
    Excerpt performed by the Chicago College of the Performing Arts Orchestra; Markand Thakar, conductor
    From
    Mythology Symphony, Cedille Records CDR 90000 160
    Available from
    Cedille Records
    Used by permission. All rights reserved.
    Purchase recording

    ORDERING SCORES
    Theodore Presser Company
    416-41265 • $24.95 • full score (small) • click to order
    416-41265L • $46.95 • full score (large) •
    click to order
    Parts rental • click to order
    Sheetmusicplus.com
    PR.416412650 • $24.95 • full score (small) • click to order
    PR.41641265L • $46.95 • full score (large) •
    click to order
    Perusal score
    Stacks Image 7069

    PROGRAM NOTES
    Shadow is a chronicle of my stay at the Yaddo artist colony in New York in summer 2001. Upon arriving, I met several visual artists and photographers whose work sparked my imagination. One artist used ordinary safety pins to create wall hangings and tree snakes; a painter studied a scene of nature and then painted it from memory so the final painting would contain bright blues, pinks, and greens not in Nature’s original. Since I wanted to explore ways to break out of my current composing methods, I spent time taking photographs of particular items — a statue’s reflection in the ripples of a fountain and small parts of stained glass window — to shift my mind into new directions. When pieced together on my studio wall, these pictures formed a collage of jagged bits of color and motion. To me, these suggested overlapping lines of counterpoint, shifting textures, and intersecting blocks of music. I also felt the need to write the piece out of order; parts of the piece got developed for a month or two, then a part that comes earlier would be worked out, then I would skip ahead to what I thought would be the end, and then go back to parts already developed to pull the music further along.
    The title is derived from a Yaddo story. Over a century ago, the Trask family bought the property that would later become Yaddo. When Mrs. Trask asked her four-year-old daughter what they should name the place, she replied Yaddo, because it rhymes with shadow. To the little girl, the word shadow represented death. Death constantly surrounded the Trask family, who ultimately lost all four children during their infancy or early childhood. As death surrounds us in unexpected ways throughout our lives, I could not escape learning of an old friend’s demise while at Yaddo. This experience shaded what I had originally planned to be a light, colorful work into something much darker.
    -S.G.

  • Thunderwalker (1999) 12’ • chamber orchestra Enter description here.
    INSTRUMENTATION
    2222  2120 pno, timp, 2 perc, strings
    Excerpt of Movement 1:
    Ritual
    Excerpt of Movement 3:
    Summoned
    Excerpt of Movement 2:
    Invoking the Gods

    AUDIO

    Excerpt performed by the Chicago College of the Performing Arts Orchestra; Markand Thakar, conductor
    From
    Mythology Symphony, Cedille Records CDR 90000 160
    Available from
    Cedille Records
    Used by permission. All rights reserved.
    Purchase recording

    ORDERING SCORES

    Theodore Presser Company
    416-41494 • $42.99 • full score (small) • click to order
    416-41494L • $76.95 • full score (large) • click to order
    Parts rental • click to order
    Sheetmusicplus.com
    PR.416414940 • $42.99 • full score (small) • click to order
    416-41494L • $76.95 • full score (large) • click to order

    To view full score online, click here or on the image to the right.
    Stacks Image 5307

    PROGRAM NOTES

    Thunderwalker is built on two overlapping structures. The first encompasses the form of each movement: the first movement is a fugue, the second a ground bass (passacaglia), the third a scherzo-trio. The second derives from what the title suggested to me. I see a thunderwalker as a huge, god-like figure who lives in the sky and whose footsteps fall loudly among the clouds. If I were a member of a pre-modern earth society and wanted to get the god-like figure’s attention, I would go through a ritual cleansing ceremony (movement 1), then invoke him over and over again (movement 2) until I had successfully summoned him (movement 3).

    The two structures complement each other: a fugue is a ritual of sorts: it follows a strict set of procedures, much like what one might do in a cleansing ceremony. Passacaglias, by their very nature, repeat themselves endlessly, like one lost in chanting invocations. This particular passacaglia is interrupted after each repetitive cycle by chaotic, grumbling noises, suggesting the god awakening in the skies. The character of a scherzo-trio can range from light and quick to sinister or macabre. I imagine that if a god were summoned down to earth, he would appear good to some and sinister to others, and he would move swiftly about the earth’s surface.

    The entire work is spun from the opening fugue motive. The first movement focuses on developing the fugue materials, particularly a minor third–tritone interval pattern. The second movement takes a nine-note pitch pattern that was introduced in the first movement — a repeating interval pattern of two minor seconds followed by a major second — and turns it into a nine-chord pattern (each statement of this pattern equals one complete cycle of the passacaglia). Finally, the third movement mutates the nine-note pitch pattern into an eight-note pattern of alternating minor and major seconds known as the octatonic scale.
    -S.G.