Serendipitous Scenes

for Orchestra

Anthony Cheung

Publisher: Theodore Presser Company
Print Status: Rental

Quick Overview

Serendipitous Scenes was commissioned by the New York Youth Symphony as part of First Music 18. The orchestra premiered the work under the direction of Mischa Santora on February 24, 2002, in Carnegie Hall. The work has since been performed by the Minnesota Orchestra (2002 Composer Institute and Reading Sessions), the Marin Symphony, and the Haddonfield Symphony.

The title Serendipitous Scenes relates to the work?s four distinct sections, or ?scenes,? that are more or less connected through various motivic, rhythmic, and harmonic fragments. The first section introduces the six chords that are to recur throughout the work. This leads to a slower section, marked ?Freely and Expressively? and featuring Clarinet and English Horn solos, that presents and extends a melody based on the top notes of the six chords. After an aleatoric section that also features improvisatory elements, the strings are featured prominently in the energetic passages that follow. The work ends with a slower, almost coda-like development of a 12-note melody, at first harmonized and supported by a B pedal point, then itself becoming the pedal point, with moving chords underneath. The title was my attempt to describe all the various ideas that reappear in different guises throughout the work, many times through pure serendipity (and sometimes through careful planning). A seemingly inconsequential phrase that appears to be the by-product of a harmonization can be turned into an entirely new melody, harmonized completely differently. In this work, one can hopefully hear the influence of jazz on my music, especially in my harmonic choices and way of voicing (and sporadically in bop-like licks). I am greatly indebted to and enamored of our great American art form.

The work is dedicated to my parents, with love and gratitude.

Available on Rental

Additional Information

Commission Commissioned by the New York Youth Symphony as part of First Music 8.
Composition Date 2001
Duration 00:11:00
Orchestration 3(dbl. Picc.) 3(dbl.E.H.) 3(dbl.B.Cl.) 3 - 4 3 3(B.Tbn.) 1; Timp. 3Perc. Pno.(dbl.Cel.) Hp. Str.
Premiere February 24, 2002 New York Youth Symphony Mischa Santora, conductor Carnegie Hall, New York