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Nico Muhly

Publisher: Chester Music

So Far So Good (2012)
Commissioned by Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony Orchestra (lead commissioner), Edwin Outwater, Music Director, Seattle Symphony Orchestra and Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra
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.

Preview the score

  • 17 JUL 2016
    Young Americans Festival
    Interlochen, MI
    World Youth Symphony Orchestra
    Christopher Rountree, conductor
  • 05 JUN 2016
    So Far So Good New York Premiere
    Young Americans
    David Geffen Hall, New York, NY
    Interlochen Arts Academy Orchestra and Dancers
    Christopher Williams, choreographer; Christopher Rountree, conductor
  • 26 MAY 2016
    Corson Auditorium, Interlochen, MI
    Interlochen Arts Academy Orchestra and Dancers
    Christopher Williams, choreographer; Christopher Rountree, conductor
  • 22 APR 2016
    Interlochen, MI
    Interlochen Center for the Arts
  • 10 MAR 2016
    Interlochen, MI
    World Youth Sympony Orchestra
    Ara Sarkissian, conductor
  • 17 OCT 2015
    Kalamazoo, MI
    Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra
    Edwin Outwater, conductor
  • 21 MAY 2015
    Milwaukee, WI
    Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra
    Edwin Outwater, conductor

    Other Dates:
    22-24 May - Milwaukee, WI
  • 26 JAN 2012
    So Far So Good World Premiere
    Seattle, WA
    Seattle Symphony Orchestra

    Other Dates:
    28 January - Seattle, WA

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