Steven Stucky

Performing Ensemble: Orchestra
Publisher: Merion Music, Inc.
Print Status: Rental

Quick Overview

"Ancora" grew out of discussions with Esa-Pekka Salonen about my writing a piece to be used on tours as an encore by the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Although in the end we did not pursue the encore idea, I sketched such a piece all the same, completed it on 17 July 1994, and dedicated it to Maestro Salonen and the orchestra out of admiration and affection.

The Italian word "ancora" means still, yet, again, or more, in phrases like "still softer" or "more beautiful yet." It describes this little piece in two ways. First, of course, the piece has the size and spirit of an encore. But second, it is constructed as a series of repetitions, on many levels, in which each repetition grows longer or more complex or in some way ?more? than the previous one.

The rambunctious brass riff that starts the piece is a good example: it recurs several times, punctuating the work into sections, and on each recurrence it is longer, more elaborate, and quirkier. The rudimentary oboe tune that comes next is another example of the ancora idea: it begins as a single note, then repeats that note, then adds a new note, then repeats the two-note figure and adds a third note, and so on. Almost everything in the piece is built in this way, by a process of gradual accumulation. Yet (for me) what counts in "Ancora" is not the demonstration of a compositional technique, but the spirit of fun and celebration, and the opportunity for a great orchestra to play with brilliance and dash.

Available on Rental

Scores & Parts

Ancora - Full Score - Study

Additional Information

Composition Date 1994
Duration 6:00
Orchestration 2 2 2 2 - 4 3 3 1; Timp. 3Perc. Str.
Premiere 6th October 1995. Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Esa-Pekka Salonen.

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