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Walker, George: Sinfonia No. 4 ‘Strands’ 

 

 

Basic information

  • Title: 
    Sinfonia No. 4 ‘Strands’
  • Duration (in minutes): 
    11
  • Year of composition: 
    2012
  • First performance (year): 
    2012
  • First performance (venue): 
    New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC), Newark NJ
  • First performance (performers): 
    New Jersey Symphony conducted by Jacques Lacombe
  • Solo Voice(s)/Instrument(s): no
  • Conductor: 
    Obligatory
 

Notes

  • Program notes: 

    The Sinfonia No. 4 (Strands) is a concise work in one movement. "Strands" refers to the interplay of several melodic and motivic elements that are fused into a mosiac-like texture. An introduction is divided into two sections. The first contains a motive of four notes, two of which are rapidly repeated in the bass clarinet, bassoons, violoncellos, and contrabasses.After the introduction, the principal theme appears in the violins. Transitional material leads to a modified re-statement in the violins. A contrasting section with a steady eighth-note pulse in an arching melodic line in bassoons and violas with cellos and contrabasses playing pizzicato is punctuated with outbursts in the winds and percussion. Another transition leads to two phrases of the wonderfully placid spiritual "There is a Balm in Gilead." Dovetailed to this is the affirmation of a second spiritual, "Roll, Jordan, Roll" in a brass fanfare. This quote is repeated in the piano and is combined with a similarly stated rising bass line played by trombones and tuba. The piano repeats its excerpt against an agitated passage in triplets played by the violins and marked by powerful repetitions of a single note in the timpani alternating with a bass drum. The final section of the work contains fragments from the principal theme and the opening motive from the introduction. 

    Sinfonia No. 4 was commissioned by a consortium of orchestras with a grant from Meet The Composer (now New Music USA). It received its premiere by the New Jersey Symphony in March 2012. The three other orchestras which co-commissioned the work—the Pittsburgh Symphony, the Cincinnati Symphony, and the National Symphony—each performed it in their 2012-2013 seasons. A recording of Sinfonia No. 4 performed by Sinfonia Varsonia conducted by Ian Hobson was released on Albany Records in 2013.

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Instruments

Total number of musicians: 
67
Musicians1st player2nd player
Flute
3
Piccolo
C
Oboe
2
Oboe
Oboe
Cor anglais
Clarinet
2
B-flat
B-flat
Bass
Bassoon
3
Bassoon
Bassoon
Horn (F)
4
Trumpet
3
C
C
Trombone
3
Tenor
Tenor
Tuba
1
MusiciansInstruments
Percussion
3
Chimes
Glockenspiel
Marimba
Vibraphone (C3)
Timpani
Xylophone
Bass Drum
Cymbals
Tamtam
Tom-Toms
Temple Blocks
Wood Blocks
Other
Harp
1
 
Keyboard
1
Piano
Musicians1st player2nd player
Violin
20
Viola
9
Cello
7
Double Bass
5
4-string
4-string

 

 

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