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Joan Tower

Publisher: AMP

String Force (2010)
Associated Music Publishers Inc
Solo Works (excluding keyboard)
Year Composed
7 Minutes
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Programme Note
Joan Tower String Force (2010)
Composer note:

String Force (2010) was commissioned by the International Violin Competition of Indianapolis for the 2010 Competition and underwritten by the Christel DeHaan Family Foundation in honor of the children and families of Christel House. It is dedicated with great affection to the violinist Jaime Laredo.

The 7-minute work was an attempt at writing a challenging piece for violin.

When I heard 16 very good semi-finalists from around the world play this piece (without any rehearsal of any kind with me), I was dumbstruck at what was working and what was not.

I changed several things after that and learned quite a bit about the extremes of tempo and register of the violin. (I want to thank Ida and Ani Kavafian and Maria Bachmann for their advice in writing this piece.)

— Joan Tower

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It is an all-out exploration of the power of a single string instrument, sometimes reminiscent of Bach's great D minor Chaconne in idiom but in an overall twentieth-century, sometimes Bartókian, language.
Rorianne Schrade, New York Concert Review,14/06/2016
In String Force (2010), a solo violin work heard in a vigorous, colorful reading by Nikki Chooi, Ms. Tower explores fingerboard and bowing techniques, with sliding effects prominent among them.
Allan Kozinn, The New York Times,09/05/2011
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