|Composition Year||1993 ca.|
⇒ 7 more: Solo Violin • Solo Cello • Violin 1 • Violin 2 • Viola • Cello • Bass
|Work Title||Reflections for Solo Violin, Solo Cello and String Orchestra|
|Composer||Sydeman, William Jay|
|I-Catalogue NumberI-Cat. No.||IWS 76|
|Year/Date of CompositionY/D of Comp.||1993 ca.|
|First Performance.||1998, Nevada City, CA.|
|Average DurationAvg. Duration||8 minutes|
|Composer Time PeriodComp. Period||Modern|
|Instrumentation||solo violin, solo cello, string orchestra|
Reflections was written in 1993 and first performed on the occasion of my 70th birthday in 1998. The performance took place in Nevada City, CA, where I was living at that time. The soloists, Nancy Hill, violin, and Ray Edens, cello, were members of the community who played in the Music in the Mountains summer festival, making it somewhat of an intimate “family affair.”
With a title like Reflections one might not expect an elaborately composed contrapuntal piece, but I admit to titling it after completion. Structurally, it is a chaconne – a very elaborate one because not only is the chord sequence repeated but the musical elements within it remain identical, in that case like an ostinato. Therefore, the melodies for the violin and cello are obliged to be extremely inventive so the ostinato is not heard as such, which for me is pretty boring (despite whatever “minimalistic” music might decree).
The composer’s task with a pre-given harmonic situation as this is to make the lines flow and interweave so the background does what a background should, namely recede into the background. I am quite happy with this attempt, and upon reflection decided to call it Reflections. I do believe that the soloists will greatly enjoy playing this work. It seemed so at its initial premiere.
– W. Jay Sydeman