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Joan Tower

Publisher: AMP

Petroushskates (1980),
Associated Music Publishers Inc
Small Ensemble (2-6 players)
Sub Category
Pierrot Ensemble (no voice)
Year Composed
5 Minutes
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Programme Note
Joan Tower Petroushskates (1980),
Composer Note:

The title Petroushskates combines two ideas that are related to this piece. One refers to Stravinsky’s Petroushka and the opening Shrovetide Fair scene which is very similar to the opening of my piece. The celebratory character and the busy colorful atmosphere of this fair provides one of the images for this piece. The other is associated with ice skating and the basic kind of flowing motion that is inherent to that sport. While watching the figure skating event at the recent winter Olympics, I became fascinated with the way the curving, twirling, and jumping figure are woven around a singular continuous flowing action. Combining these two ideas creates a kind of carnival on ice – a possible subtitle for this piece.

—Joan Tower

Sample Pages

  • Ensemble
    Eighth Blackbird
    Molly Alicia Barth, flute; Michael J. Maccaferri, clarinet; Matt Albert, violin; Nicholas Photinos, cello; Matthew Duvall, percussion; Lisa Kaplan, piano
    Cedille Records:
  • Ensemble
    Da Capo Chamber Players
    New World Records:
…beginning with Joan Tower's Petroushskates. This gem by Ms. Tower, who will be the Pittsburgh Symphony's composer-of-the-year this season, transforms Stravinsky's "Petroushka" and the power and grace of figure skaters into shimmering music for flute, piano, violin, cello and clarinet.
Andrew Druckenbrod, Pittsburgh Post Gazette,12/07/2010
PETROUSHSKATES glides festively along Stravinskian ice while shaping its own bright and meditative gestures.
Donald Rosenberg, Cleveland Plain Dealer,01/01/0001
Joan Tower's PETROUSHSKATES is both an homage to Stravinsky and musical corollary to the "seamless action" of figure skating. Based on the bustling "Shrovetide Fair" music from PÉTROUCHKA, [the work] is short, colorful, and energetic. It is a perfect [concert] opener for this CD.
Raymond Tuttle, Fanfare,01/01/0001
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