Dimensions

for Soprano and 14 Instruments

Ralph Shapey

Rental
Publisher: Theodore Presser Company
Print Status: Rental

Quick Overview

"Dimensions" was commissioned by and dedicated to Paul Fromm of The Fromm Foundation. It was written between July 7, 1960, and October 3, 1960. The work is a companion piece to "Incantations" which it precedes by one year. In this work I deal with variable time factors. The several instruments, although notated in the traditional way, are playing at different metronome tempi. The piece is in a constant state of flux, but tightly organized around basic musical ?images.? These images recur over and over, but always in totally different relationships. As in "Incantations", the solo soprano uses syllables rather than a word-text. As the title indicates, the work exists in all dimensions: time, sound, and flux; to measure in varying degrees the progress of each set of musical images.

The work is in three movements. The first is the large exposition movement, expressing the images through their many diversifications. The second movement simplifies the material of the first movement with the solo voice in an hypnotic ghostly chant, and the third movement is a tympani solo with other percussion support, rising to a tremendous climax after which the voice returns with the opening two notes of the second movement.

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Additional Information

Commission Commissioned by the Fromm Foundation.
Composition Date 1960
Duration 00:20:00
Orchestration Fl. Ob. T.Sax. Hn. Tpt. Pno. 7Perc. Cb.
Premiere 13th May, 1961. Bethany Beardslee, Soprano, composer conducting, The New School, New York City.