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Instrumentation: Solo and Piano Instruments: Baritone Sax
Written for Baritone Saxophone and Piano, this is a challening work that is most suited for a college age student.
Program notes from the composer:
Just as Chagall mixed landscapes, characters, and creatures into a surreal concoction in his paintings, Chagallian Scenes does so in music. So we might start with a march only to dissolve into a waltz with flashes of dissonance morphing into cacophony, or we might settle comfortably into a key when suddenly it veers into an unrelated other. The movements are named after the pictures that inspired them.
The first movement, Promenade, or Der Spaziergang, opens with cheery walking music appropriate for a man and his lovely lady out for a stroll. But the mood soon edges into whole tone surrealism reflecting that the pink frocked lady is floating, held down to earth only by the grasp of her companion.
The music for The Wandering Jew is influenced by the diverse dwellings of the Jewish diaspora, ranging from the Moorish influence of the Andalusia to the Klesmer of New York.
The third movement, Au Dessus de la Ville (Over the town) has drifting rhythm, like the drifting figures over the town. The scene is dreamy and surrealistic with the music moving in and out of sync.
I And the Village, considered Chagall's most famous painting, cuts from one scene to another as if remembering a lifetime. The man with the scythe trudges along throughout, listening to the sounds of the village: a goat bleating, a Klesmer violinist, the bells of the Russian Orthodox Church… it is a tapestry of joy and tragedy, hard labor and festive dance.
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