Scirocco Dances (2007) for chamber orchestra
1111 1110 2 perc., cel., hp., strings
Scirocco Dances is an orchestral suite from a scene in my chamber opera, A Shipwreck Opera in One Act, a fantasy I wrote in collaboration with fiction writer Aimee Bender. The dances form part of a seduction scene of sorts between a shipwrecked Girl and the Wind on top of the hill. Though hesitant at first, the dances they share steadily build to a frenzied stormy climax which, in the story, bring a second fateful shipwreck to the island. I based these set of dances loosely on the wonderful trio of dances in Stravinsky’s L’Histoire du Soldat. Like Stravinsky the first two dances are a tango and waltz but in place of Stravinsky’s ragtime I use a high octane Be-bop. Interspersed around the dances are interludes which reflect the Girl’s increasingly agitated emotional state. The original orchestration of the opera has just a wind quartet and string quartet (with 1 violin and bass) plus percussion, harp & celesta. This piece expands that to include a larger string section and brass.
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