Double Play

for Violin, Piano and Chamber Orchestra

William Kraft

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Publisher: Theodore Presser Company
Print Status: Rental

Quick Overview

I was tempted to call the piece ?Throw Back? because it consciously employs rhythmic and harmonic approaches characteristic of the earlier part of the twentieth century, much of which plays a part in forging my musical personality. Going along with this impetus, I have paid homage by subtly interpolating stylistic or actual references to such unexpected bedfellows as Scriabin, Ravel, Debussy, Piston, Roussel, and Ysaye. I hope I will be musically forgiven.

In one continuous movement there are three definite internal sections: Presto-Largo-Allegro. The first movement opens with a very soft percussion cadenza. If the acoustics allow it, the player will use pottery mallets (sponge-headed mallets employed to smooth the interior of a pot as it is being spin-dried). No matter how hard he strikes the drums, the dynamic cannot go above ?ppp? (pianissimo). This cadenza serves as a basis for the first movement. The elements of the cadenza are taken by the orchestra to make the first major statement, similar to the classical concerto; but rather than making a restatement, the soloists when they come in begin with variational ideas.

The second section (movement) is given over to the soloists, and is lyrical. The third section begins with an alternation between strict rhythmic pulsation and free-sounding timbres, as if reluctant to leave the second section behind. The rhythmic aspect takes over more and more as the piece progresses toward its conclusion.

"Double Play" was commissioned by the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra with financial assistance from the Northwest Area Foundation. It received its premiere on January 7, 1983 in St. Paul, with Pinchas Zukerman, conductor and violinist; Marc Neikrug, piano; and the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra.

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Additional Information

Commission Commissioned by the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra
Composition Date 1982
Duration 00:17:00
Orchestration Vln. Pno. soli; 1 2(E.H.) 1(B.Cl.) 2 - 2 1 0 0 ; 1Perc. Str.
Premiere 7th January, 1983. St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Pinchas Zukerman, violin, Marc Neikrug, piano, conducted by the composer, St. Paul, MN