Sun Valley Variations
Abstract (Summary)Sun Valley Variations is a work for thirteen wind instruments, piano, double bass and two percussion. The wind section consists of five reed parts encompassing two alto, two tenor and one baritone saxophones with four trombones and four trumpets doubling on flugelhorns. Combining jazz and contemporary classical music continues to be an area of interest of mine. Several revolutionary contemporary classical composers such as Igor Stravinsky, Daruis Milhuad and Gunther Schuller have collaborated with important jazz artists such as Duke Ellington, Woody Herman and Charles Mingus. From this association has come new concert pieces that combine the traditions of both into a new hybrid sound. Modeled after of the contemporary jazz ensemble, Sun Valley Variations includes several of the traditional jazz ensemble arranging techniques in combination with several elements associated with the contemporary art music tradition. The work is created around a traditional theme and variations form encompassing four main sections, three transitions and an extended coda. The first variation features a bass ostinato that forms the primary harmonic foundation on which new material is created. Variation two is constructed on a C minor tonality that includes jazz-influenced improvisation and instrumental layering techniques. A slower and more delicate mood is created in variation three as the ensemble features a variety of soloistic orchestration, muting colors and different doubling combinations in the woodwinds. A recapitulation and coda is featured in the in the last fragment as the ostinato material from variation one and two is combined with improvisation, layering and short solo passages.
School Location:USA - Ohio
Source Type:Master's Thesis
Keywords:jazz ensemble thirdstream
Date of Publication:01/01/2008