Remnants is a nine-minute work for clarinet, bassoon, and chamber orchestra. The accompanying ensemble is scored for two trumpets, two horns, tenor trombone, bass trombone, percussion, piano, harp, and strings (six first violins, six second violins, four violas, four cellos, and two basses).
The overall structure of the piece is governed by the Fibonacci sequence and Golden Mean relationships. This single-movement work is divided into five distinct sections. Each section has its own character, shape, and color, with the first and last sections serving as prelude and postlude respectively. The second section features the bassoonist, as the clarinetist interjects supporting material. Section three showcases the clarinet and bassoon in unison; their combined timbre is used to express the same musical gestures. This provides contrast to the fourth section, in which the clarinet becomes the predominant solo instrument.
Elements of harmony, rhythm, gesture, and orchestration are programmatically linked to the loving memory of my aunt, Carmella Marie Ciancio, to whom this work is dedicated. The musical language of the piece is derived from a twelve-tone row, which is articulated in either a repeated contrapuntal or pointillistic pattern. As a recurring element, it provides foundation for the work’s harmonic progression.
Rhythmic elements in Remnants are derived from integrated Morse code, taken from various words and numerical figures that pertain to the programmatic nature of the composition. For example, the primary melodic material of section three contains rhythmic ideas associated with the number 1954 (the year of Carmella’s birth). In this way, different rhythmic motives are established and become self-referential within the composition.
School:Bowling Green State University
School Location:USA - Ohio
Source Type:Master's Thesis
Keywords:clarinet bassoon chamber orchestra morse code and music golden mean composition
Date of Publication:01/01/2009