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Joan Tower

Publisher: AMP

Noon Dance (1982)
Associated Music Publishers Inc
Works for 2-6 Players
Sub Category
Pierrot Ensemble (no voice)
Year Composed
17 Minutes

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Score and Part(s) Score and Part(s)
Score Score

Programme Note
Joan Tower Noon Dance (1982)
Composer Note:

Noon Dance (1982), is dedicated to Collage, who commissioned it with the support of a grant from the Massachusetts State Arts Council. The word “noon” in the title refers to this piece as a sequel to an earlier piece Breakfast Rhythms, written in 1974, which has the same instrumentation. Although there are some dance-type rhythms in the piece, such as square dance and folk dance motifs, the real impetus for the word “dance” in the title comes from my idea of how close chamber music playing is to dancing; how players “move” with each other, sometimes following or leading, other times blending different kinds of energies in the pacing of sections; in toto, learning the “choreography” of the piece. Noon Dance is a piece that explores some of those “movements.”

— Joan Tower

Sample Pages

  • Ensemble
  • 05 OCT 2014
    Boston, MA
    Collage New Music
  • 15 SEP 2008
    Merkin Hall, New York, NY
    Da Capo Chamber Players
  • 21 NOV 2006
    University of California, Los Angeles, CA
    USC Contemporary Music Ensemble

Joan Tower’s “Noon Dance” (1982) turned out to be a masterly full-ensemble study in layered and matched pale colors, and gathering, rhythmic passages of shifting, neo-Stravinskian accents. The work also gave each player virtuoso solo opportunities that emerged effortlessly from the complex textures.
Chris Pasles, The Los Angeles Times,13/05/1993
The most successful [piece] of all was Joan Tower’s “Noon Dance,” a bubbly, vigorous, youthful-sounding work for sextet, which defied all categories and gave its interpreters—particularly the ferocious piano of Zita Carno—room to shine alone.
Richard S. Ginell, The Daily News,13/03/1985
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