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Nico Muhly

Publisher: Chester Music

So Far So Good (2012)
Commissioned by Seattle Symphony, Winnepeg Symphony, Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony
Work Notes
Percussion includes: Crotales (bow), Vibraphone (bow), Marimba, Triangle, Length of Metal Pipe, Tamtam, Snare Drum, Brake Drum
St. Rose Music Publishing
Year Composed
20 Minutes
Programme Note
Nico Muhly So Far So Good (2012)
So Far So Good is the first piece of non-programmatic orchestral music I've written in about five years. It was simultaneously thrilling and unnerving to write something without a dramatic structure helping me along. As such, the piece is sort of free-form. There are two recurring passacaglias: the first, at the beginning of the piece, a dirge-like brass drone. The second is a more flighty, chromatic affair, presented in evenly-stacked piles of woodwinds. I'm still a little frightened of the trumpet, so I wrote a nice big solo for him (or her) near the start of the piece. After these initial expositions, we enter a sort of mathematical ostinato-world for a few minutes. The motor of clarinets, harp, and piano carries us through several decadent harmonic spaces, but there is perpetual motion throughout. Each cycle of ostanati is antagonized by the brass, until the piece begins to reverse itself, and we revisit earlier terrains. An extended drone in the strings and piano anchors the conclusion.

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