Instrumentation: Flute, Bb clarinet, bassoon, violin, viola, cello
Duration: 6:00
Commission: Chamber Music Conference of the East
Premiere: 8/9/97
Composers Forum of the East, Bennington, VT

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Program Note: 
Spin is a piece whose action manifests the meaning of its title at a variety of levels. The accented chords that form the harmonic pillars unfold and collapse back into themselves in a slow-motion spin; the more quickly dancing motifs are spun between the pairs and trios of instruments drawn out of the sextet; and the overt spinning motifs form the axis around which the large-scale motion revolves. The piece plays with this underlying notion at all levels and was inspired by the multi-level use of the triangle in I.M. Pei’s design of the East Wing of the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C. In Spin, the music moves between harmonic pillars that create a crescendo of consonance. There are two large sections, the second of which is a twirled version of the first. Each large section contains the harmonic pillars and dancing motif, a habanera-like dance, and a closing section that whirls like a top. Spin was commissioned by the Chamber Music Conference and Composers’ Forum of the East and was composed at the Virginia Center for Creative Arts. It was premiered on 8/9/97 by participants of the Chamber Music Conference and Composers’ Forum of the East in Bennington, VT, and has been recorded on North/South Recordings. –JS

Press Quotes:

“From a very simple initial concept, Judith Shatin carves a brief but very effective little piece, Spin. Scored for a sextet comprising flute, clarinet, bassoon, violin, viola and cello, Shatin explores multiple types of spin as applied to music, from chords that unfold and collapse back onto themselves through to dance rhythms that spin between groups of instruments….The players here seem to enjoy the lighthearted gaiety of it all.”

“Judith Shatin’s Spin is a slightly jazzy piece that is light on its feet…”
All Music

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