Performed at the Florida State University Festival of New Music by members of the FSU New Music Ensemble.
Duration: Approx. 14'
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I wrote this quintet over a long period of time in which I had a wide range of experiences, from exciting adventures to times of rapid change, disappointment, and uncertainty. Although this piece is not intended to tell a particular story, it includes many subtle reflections on my surroundings during the time I was writing it. Now, as I look back on the piece, I have come to recognize an underlying theme of transcendence and triumph, and a reminder of beauty and love even during adverse circumstances. The piece also contains very subtle nods to a few notable piano quintets: those of Brahms, Schumann, Shostakovich, Martinů , and Schnittke.
Throughout the piece, thematic elements undergo a number of dramatic transformations, reappearing in multiple contexts and characters. In the first movement, melancholy chorales and extended chord chord structures convey a contemplative depth. A stricken viola solo emerges; violin and piano lines culminate to a point of catharsis. Beauty and sorrow unfold simultaneously in interwoven melodies and textures.
A playful motive introduces the second movement. However, a cello solo passionately interrupts and leads to an unexpected scene of bleak introspection. The piece takes on a new, desolate character... the instruments lose synchronization and a haunting tune materializes. Gradually, the ensemble struggles and realigns, and the movement’s original theme finally returns in full, transformed and resolute, driving toward a triumphant and spontaneous conclusion.