Clash for Orchestra
Robert Morris

Program Notes

Clash was written in 1987 at the suggestion of Samuel Adler who wanted a brief work to open a concert of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra. The resultant work therefore resembles an overture and has a buoyant, upbeat character not unlike Adler himself.

The piece's form follows the time-honored direct arch form: in letters, ABA'BA. The A sections are relatively brief, and are based on a rhythmic presentation of 12-note chords scored for the entire ensemble punctuated by the percussion. The B sections are more complex and finely-detailed involving contrapuntal commentary and colloquy. The contrast between the zany Bs and the more raucous As as well as the last event led me to change the piece's working title from "Call to Order" to "Clash".