Glyph (string orchestra version)

Excerpt: “Luminous”


Instrumentation: Solo viola, string orchestra, piano
Duration: 18:00
Premiere: 3/1/15
Violist Emily Onderdonk, Conductor Barbara Day Turner, San Jose Chamber Orchestra
Trianon Theatre
San Jose, CA

Program Note:
Glyph, for solo viola, string orchestra, and piano, is an orchestrated version of the original, scored for solo viola, string quartet, and piano. The expanded version was commissioned and premiered by the San Jose Chamber Orchestra, with conductor Barbara Dy Turner and violist Emily Onderdonk. A glyph is a figure carved in relief, and the title refers to the creative process of composition, the carving of sound in relief through time and on oneself. The four movements are titled Luminous, Flickering, Ecstatic, and Incandescent, all aspects of light. They also refer to the shifting relationships that color the interactions of the solo viola, quartet, and piano. The work is a viola concerto, with a supportive rather than adversarial relationship between the solo viola and the other instruments. A lyrical opening movement is followed by a piquant second, an atmospheric third, and a driving finale. The original version of Glyph was commissioned and premiered by violist Rosemary Glyde, to whom it is dedicated. I composed it during my first residency at the Virginia Center for Creative Arts. –JS

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