Intermedio

Commissioned by the Society of Composers and ASCAP

Instrumentation: clarinet, alto saxophone, bassoon, violin, piano, percussion (1 player)

Duration: ca. 9'

First performed: March 30th, 2019 at the University of New Mexico by members of the Sound Icon Ensemble (Albuquerque, NM)

I.

II. Tempo da ciaccona

Program Note

Video

During the Italian Renaissance, an intermedio was a form of drama performed between acts of plays, accompanied by music and dancing. The work takes inspiration from this dramatic form and is in two movements. The entire work can be thought of as a transitional interlude between a comedic act and a tragic act of an imagined play. While the first movement is generally lighthearted in tone, there are more serious elements that linger in the background, occasionally breaking through the movement’s comic facade. The first movement can also be perceived as an extended introduction to the longer second movement. This movement is in the style of a chaconne, based on an eight-bar chord pattern that repeats throughout in various transpositions. A faster middle section interrupts this texture, recalling the tone of the first movement. Throughout the work, the ensemble is split into smaller groups, and music is passed from one set of instruments to another in the style of a concerto grosso—in fact, in each movement there is only one instance of the ensemble performing as an integral whole.