Linda Tutas Haugen
About this work:
Lebenstänze (Dances of Life), a concerto for violin, viola and
orchestra, was commissioned by the Metropolitan Symphony
Orchestra in 1988 and was written for David and Alice Preves. The
work describes a range of human events that are present in a life-long
relationship between two people.
The first movement, "Society," represents the continuum of life and
emotion in the world. Against a background of 16th-note murmuring,
the thematic fragments are presented, culminating in a "fanfare-like"
Following the first movement without a break, the second movement
begins with the individual statements of the soli violin and viola. The
progression of a relationship is shown by the developing intensity of
The third movement explores the different aspects of birth. An
extended bassoon solo followed by a duet with the viola represents the
human spirit before it is born and the unique relationship between
mother and child. This movement grows in texture and ultimately
reaches the moment of birth.
"Conflict," the fourth movement, is written using a modified rondo form.
The character of the movement as well as its ending reflect the
inevitability of conflict and its lack of poignance.
The fifth movement begins quietly with a quartet in the winds. The
soloists echo this material and move to a slower section which ends in
string harmonics. Much recitative material follows in the solo violin and
celli. Thematic material from the third and first movements briefly
returns before the close of the work.
Year composed: 1989
Ensemble type: Orchestra:Orchestra with Soloist(s)
Instrumentation: ,1 Violin soloist(s), ,1 Viola soloist(s)
Instrumentation notes: Symphony orchestra with Violin and Viola soloists