Essay For Orchestra

For: Orchestra
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Essay For Orchestra


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Year of composition
Difficult (Grades 7+)
11 minutes
Modern classical music
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While the composer is not about to claim that Samuel Barber could have written this short work, the title might suggest otherwise. (Barber wrote three works with this title.) But in matters of form Barber�s ability to condense and telescope, his development of ideas of a highly concentrated emotional character�"these are mirrored here to some extent. Two themes�"the first short, high, and imperative, the other expansive and tender�"are presented and alternated after a short introduction. The bridging material between the two themes is designed for a smooth transition as one of the two themes replaces the other then back again. Throughout the scoring is light. The expansive tender theme finally gets its full harmonic due from the full orchestra after it is modulated to D flat. The work ends with a cadential treatment of the first theme.

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