Rocket (string orchestra)
String orchestra, harp
Duration: 4 minutes
Minnesota Orchestra Centennial Commission
Premiere—2001, by the Minnesota Orchestra conducted by Giancarlo Guerrero, Mpls., MN
Score and parts available on request. Contact DET
The Minnesota Orchestra performed my Elegy for a Singer on its subscription concerts in 1997.
Rocket was commissioned by the Minnesota Orchestra for its Adventures in Music concerts, a series for families. For each of the four Adventures concerts that year, a composer was commissioned to write a “fanfare” for a specific section of the orchestra.
The title refers to the shape of the principal theme, a rocket figure that rises quickly in broken chords over a wide range. Such musical rockets were the trademark of the avant-garde orchestra of 18th-century Mannheim led by Stamitz. A second theme in stepwise motion, cloud music perhaps, is introduced by a solo sextet. And it’s not too fanciful to imagine launches at the work’s opening and close.