About this work:
Reliquary is a large, single-movement work for piano and orchestra. It is quasi-fractal in design, by which it is meant that elements of the music at a local level are replicated or extrapolated at higher structural levels. The piece begins with a piano solo, during which seventeen events (or brief thematic units) are presented. Each unique event is related to the others harmonically, motivically, and/or texturally, lending cohesiveness to the group of seventeen events as a whole.
Reliquary is, in essence, a collection of seventeen sets of variations (labeled A through Q), one for each event initially presented by the piano (each letter also represents a complete collection of the events, or variation set). The events are dilated, compressed and distorted as the work unfolds across a dynamic spectrum of possibilities. The reordering of the material through different forms of rotation also plays an important role in the work. The events, though continuous, are initially grouped into eight collections: ABCD-E-FG-HI-JKL-MN-OP-Q. At the midpoint of the piece (section I, a duet for piano and celesta), the groups have been rotated to a retrograde ordering: Q-OP-MN-JKL-HI-FG-E-ABCD. By the final major section Q, the groups finally have returned to their original ordering.
Not only are the events reordered, but the basic proportions of one to the other are rotated as well, allotting different amounts of time to each event over the course of the work. Additionally, there is a seventeen-note series, embedded in several of the events, that is developed throughout the piece. This series is explicitly voiced in the seventeenth event, Q. The series is there presented in counterpoint with its retrograde. The series also goes through a process of rotation over the course of the piece, ultimately arriving at its retrograde (and therefore in counterpoint with the prime form of the row) by the eighteenth iteration. Because there are only seventeen sections, this final iteration is presented as a reflection, a postlude.
Reliquary is a repository of fragments, relics of my imagination recalled, protected through their invocation, and evolved by use and the passage of time.
Version: Piano and Orchestra
Year composed: 2008
Ensemble type: Orchestra:Orchestra with Soloist(s)
Instrumentation: 3 Flute, 3 Oboe, 2 Clarinet, 1 Bass Clarinet, 2 Bassoon, 1 Contrabassoon, 4 Horn in F, 3 Trumpet, 2 Trombone, 1 Bass Trombone, 1 Tuba, 1 Timpani, 3 Percussion (General), ,1 Piano soloist(s), 1 Celesta, 1 Strings (General), 1 Harp
Instrumentation notes: Solo pno -3d2.3d1.3d1.3d1 - 184.108.40.206 - timp.3perc.hp.cel. - strings