Chamber work for flute, clarinet, violin, cello, piano, percussionist ; 1979 ; Duration ca. 16:20
This work is in three movements:
In Take Me Places I sought to create a chamber work that is expansive in its musical gestures, but also treats the group as a tightly-knit ensemble. During the first movement, rhythmically propulsive themse and punctuations are developed in cyclical fashion. The piano gradually pulls apart from the ensemble into a solo capacity. A similar rhythmic energy pervades the third movement, culminating in a series of "wave upon wave" swells. By contrast, the second movement, and the coda of the third, center around a hushed musical quality that might be suggestive of introspection, distance or "mystery." A recurring melodic figure, usually presented by the flute, forms the thread around which various other thematic fragments and colors are interwoven. Sung, scat, spoken and whispered fragments performed by the players are an extension of the instrumental motives, and often serve as a bridge between the two musical poles of the piece.
The titles of the individual movements, and the texts of the whispered passages in the third movement, are taken from poems of the English Romantics. (I was appalled when, shortly after the premiere of this work, the Hollywood film Chariots of Fire was released, and for a few years I was consistently queried during "meet the composer" sessions as to whether the third movement had been "inspired" by the film. Nope -- no connection whatsoever.) As to the title of the work, it simply suggests something that I believe any piece of music should accomplish for the listener.
PDF score excerpt
MP3 audio excerpt
Premiered by the Musica Nova ensemble conducted by Sydney Hodkinson in 1980, Take Me Places has been performed on tour by the Twentieth Century Consort conducted by Christopher Kendall, by the Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble led by David Stock, and by several university and conservatory-based new music ensembles.
A superb commercial cd recording of this piece, featuring Christopher Kendall conducting the Twentieth Century Consort ensemble, recorded in the Coolidge Auditorium, Library of Congress, is available on Innoval 633 CD 15.
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