Triquetra for string orchestra

(2008, revised 2013) 12'

Commissioned by Settlement Music School
Recorded on BCM+D Records

Program note

Triquetra is a composition about the number three: an exploration of the interval of a third cast in three contrasting, continuous movements for a string orchestra consisting of pre-college string players.  The title means ‘three cornered’ in Latin, and originally meant “triangle” but later came to refer to a shape formed of circles and half circles that sometimes included a triangle. The three movements follow the traditional moderate first movement (Deciso), a slow second movement (Adagio) and a more active last movement (Scherzando). Triquetra was commissioned by the Settlement Music School, Robert Capanna, Director, for the Trowbridge Chamber Orchestra, David Rupp, conductor. Throughout the compositional process the work was influenced by assorted matters associated with young people—everything from youthful energy, to rock music (slow harmonic rhythm, fast surface activity, simple melodic and harmonic materials), to my experiences hearing music students in practice rooms endlessly repeating a simple, newly discovered rhythm, chord progression or melody—even thoughts of Attention Deficit Disorder (“ADD”, i.e. skipping from one thought to another) played a role in the succession of events in the third movement. The work was revised in 2013 and performed by the Temple University Preparatory Division’s Youth Chamber Orchestra, Aaron Picht conducting, in December 2014.

live performance