Ronald Caltabiano

Publisher: Merion Music, Inc.
Print Status: Rental

Quick Overview

"Poplars" is based on Claude Monet?s Les Quatre Arbres, known as ?Poplars,? which hangs in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. The work is in no way programmatic and is not a mere reinterpretation of Monet?s painting. Rather, it is a musical realization of certain elements of the painting?s intricate substructure. The contrasts between the sharply angled substructure of the painting and its soft, sfumato surface, as well as the contrasts within the substructure itself, provided the impetus for my composition.

Monet?s carefully controlled spatial rhythms and proportions are represented temporally. The eye is led through the painting in multiple ways, and this is represented in my composition by two simultaneously occurring levels of harmonic movement: one surrounding a climactic mirror point about two-thirds of the way through the piece, the other aiming always forward from the serene opening bars to the frenzied final movements of the coda.

The result is a work filled with extreme and dramatic contrast: slow, languid passages and quick, angry sections alternated. The changes sometimes occur through slow transformations, sometimes completely unprepared.

Monet finished his painting near his home at Giverny in 1891. My "Poplars" was begun when I was a Rockefeller Foundation Fellow at the Villa Serbelloni in Bellagio, Italy, and was completed at my home in New York City in March of 1985. "Poplars" was commissioned by the Youth Symphony Orchestra of New York as part of its FIRST MUSIC series and is dedicated to my friend and colleague David Alan Miller.

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Additional Information

Commission Exxon Corporation
Duration 00:15:00
Orchestration 2(Picc.) 3(E.H.) 2(B.Cl.) 3 - 4 3 3(B.Tbn.) 1; Timp. 3Perc. Str.
Premiere May 1985. New York Youth Symphony, David Alan Miller, conductor; Carnegie Recital Hall, New York, NY.

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