For Chamber Orchestra
piccolo (doubling alto flute), clarinet, tenor saxophone, 2 horns, trumpet, 3 violins, 2 violas, cello
The Finger Lakes Chamber Music Festival, 2013
June 7, 2013, by the Finger Lakes Chamber Music Festival Chamber Orchestra, Michael Henson, conductor; Geneva, NY
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Having composed several intimate and contemplative pieces for the Finger Lakes Chamber Music Festival in previous years, I had a strong desire to write something completely bombastic, gritty, and aggressive for my third summer residency there. Considering this, I decided to compose my first stand-alone fanfare to open the summer concert series with a bang.
The piece opens with a jolt from most of the ensemble and is followed by frenetic, Morse Code-like rhythmic figures in the violins and violas on the pitch 'D.' The woodwinds, brass, and cello then blast out a dissonant melody with shrieks from the piccolo. The melody instruments then create an unsettling "cloud" of sound beneath a lyric string melody. Afterwards, the strings pick up a thorny, march-like ostinato while the rest of the ensemble plays the original melody at a slower tempo. The piece ends with one final punctuation from the entire ensemble.
While some have drawn their own connections between Geneva Fanfare and the city of Geneva, NY, there is no intended programatic connection. I set out to write an aggressive and dissonant fanfare and named it after the city it would be premiered in. Any other correlation is strictly coincidence.
- Michael Henson