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Missy Mazzoli

Publisher: G. Schirmer

Violent, Violent Sea (2011)
Work Notes
reduced orchestration available:
G Schirmer Inc
Year Composed
9 Minutes
Alternate Orchestration (minimum players)
Programme Note
Missy Mazzoli Violent, Violent Sea (2011)
First performances:
small orchestra version
   June 18, 2011
   League of Composers Orchestra ISCM
   Louis Karchin, conductor
   Brooklyn, NY
large orchestra version
   November 19, 2011
   Albany Symphony
   David Alan Miller, conductor
   Albany, NY

Composer note:

Violent, Violent Sea was commissioned by the Barlow Endowment and the League of Composers Chamber Orchestra, and was premiered at Miller Theater in New York City in June 2011.

This work began with more of an emotional impression than a precise musical idea. My early notes for the piece look something like this:


To my relief I eventually did figure out "how to do this." The work evolved significantly from these early sketches but my idea of creating a loud, dense work with conflicting light and dark sides remained
intact. The result is a ten-minute piece with a deceptively sparkling exterior and dark, slow-moving chords at its core. These chords grind against each other, dissolve into glissandos and crescendo into surprising dissonances under the glistening patina of vibraphone and marimba. This work is dedicated to Sheila Mazzoli, who loves the sea more than anyone.

— Missy Mazzoli

View Score - Reduced Orchestration

  • 12 APR 2018
    Tennessee Theatre, Knoxville, TN
    Knoxville Symphony Orchestra
    Aram Demirjian, conductor

    Other Dates:
    13 April - Tennessee Theatre, Knoxville, TN
  • 08 DEC 2016
    First Congregational Church Akron, OH
    The University of Akron Symphony Orchestra
    Guy V. Bordo, conductor
  • 05 NOV 2016
    Rachel M. Schlesinger Center Alexandria,VA
    Alexandria Symphony Orchestra

    Other Dates:
    6 November - George Washington Masonic Memorial Alexandria,VA
  • 26 OCT 2015
    Baton Rouge, LA
    Louisiana State University
    Damon Talley, conductor
  • 14 MAR 2014
    Tucson, AZ
    Tucson Symphony
    Edwin Outwater, conductor

    Other Dates:
    15,16 March - Tucson, AZ
  • 16 MAY 2013
    Grand Rapids, MI
    Grand Rapids Symphony
    John Varineau, conductor

    Other Dates:
    17 May - Grand Rapids, MI
  • 02 MAR 2013
    New York, NY
    Mannes College Of Music
  • 18 JAN 2013
    Violent, Violent Sea Country Premiere
    Kitchener, ON, Canada
    Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony
    Edwin Outwater, conductor

    Other Dates:
    19 January - Kitchener, ON, Canada
  • 03 NOV 2012
    La Jolla, CA
    La Jolla Symphony
    Steven Schick, conductor

    Other Dates:
    4 November - La Jolla, CA
  • 08 AUG 2012
    Spokane, WA
    Spokane Symphony
    Morihiko Nakahara, conductor
  • 16 MAR 2012
    Cello Concerto World Premiere
    Violent, Violent Sea European Premiere
    Barbican, London
    Britten Sinfonia
    Oliver Coates; André de Ridder, conductor
  • 18 JUN 2011
    Violent, Violent Sea World Premiere
    Brooklyn, NY
    League of Composers Orchestra
    Fred Sherry and Virgil Blackwell; Louis Karchin, conductor

Missy Mazzoli, whose beautifully constructed Violent, Violent Sea received its premiere here, said she had associated the League with composers like Mr. Babbitt and Mr. Carter and less with the genre-bending composers of her generation. An element of danger lurked beneath the shimmering surfaces of Ms. Mazzoli’s alluring work, whose swirls and eddies were glazed with eerie harmonics in the strings and glittering vibraphone and marimba patterns that evoked sunlight on sea.
Vivien Schweitzer, New York Times,22/06/2011
...the work is far more voluptuous than violent. It boasts fetching and sonorous writing for the entire ensemble, with soaring sustained tutti melodies and lushly spaced harmonies.
Christian B. Carey,,21/06/2011
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