Quoth the Raven [ 2005, arr./rev. 2014 & 2018 ]

for chamber ensemble

or chamber orchestra & narrator

The Petite Symphony [ 2016 ]

for elementary orchestra

 

CHAMBER ORCHESTRA

& ORCHESTRA |

PORTFOLIO

The Whispering City [ 2015 ]

for full orchestra

or chamber ensemble

The Anatomy of the Curiosity Cabinet [ 2011 ]

for chamber orchestra

 

 
Quoth the Raven [ 2005, arr./rev. 2014 & 2018 ]

for chamber orchestra

& narrator

MEDIA

ABOUT

Quoth the Raven is a retelling of one of E.A. Poe's best-known works, The Raven. Told from the perspective of our narrator, the poem traces the mental demise of a lonely man, isolated with his somber thoughts in his dark chambers. At the beginning, the instrumental accompaniment only offers a bed of sound in which the narrator may rest his thoughts, but after the first stanza, the pulse of the piece quickens into a lively compound meter with the clarinet—representing our

narrator—taking the lead.

 

Narrated from the first person, the lonely old man, believing that he hears someone tapping at his chamber doors, goes to investigate the source of the sound. Pining for his lost love Lenore, he thinks he hears her name whispered outside, and steps outside into the night to see nothing but the wind. It is here, when our narrator is lamenting over Lenore, that we hear the music relax, dipping into a subdued mood before the old man is made increasingly mad over the presence of an unwanted raven in his chamber.

 

Upon opening a window in his chambers, a stately Raven enters, marking the beginning of the end for our narrator. Saying only “Nevermore” the raven continues to push the narrator into inevitable madness until the chilling poem concludes. 

The Petite Symphony [ 2016 ]

a multi-movement work

for elementary orchestra

 

MEDIA

ABOUT

The Petite Symphony is a work for beginner, or elementary orchestra. The work is currently in progress with three movements complete, and two recorded by The Curiosity Cabinet in the Fall of 2016. The premise of the work is that each movement of the work incorporates progressively more advanced instrumental techniques, key signatures, and rhythmic/metric ideas.

 

The first movement makes strong use of ostinatos that expand and collapse throughout the movement, all within the construct of simple time with very few alterations outside of the key of C. The second movement of the work incorporates more complicated rhythmic ideas, presenting material in simple-compound time, and a section of brief polyrhythmic 2-in-the-space-of-3. The third movement is a quick waltz, introducing more advanced pitch relationships, including the chromatic scale.

The work was originally written as a "learning piece" for Kauffman's Face the Music beginning youth chamber orchestra as a way to expand the students musical vocabulary through a piece for the full ensemble, written as an etude on a part-by-part basis.

The Whispering City [ 2015 ]

a multi-movement work

for full orchestra or chamber ensemble

 

ABOUT

Whispering City is a work that's had many incarnations since it's original version premiered and written in February and March of 2015. The first conception of the work was written for a chamber ensemble of nine instrumentalists and vocalist was performed by the BlackHouse 2015 Ensemble with special guests Amanda DeBoer, soprano; and Chris Wild, 'cellist from Ensemble Dal Niente.

 

Following the enthusiastic response to the work, and the interest to rework the piece for a larger ensemble, the work was reconfigured as a four-movement work for orchestra, read by the Atlantic Music Festival Orchestra in August of 2015. During the Fall 2015 season the work was once again reconstructed or conTempo's diverse ensemble, this time with an additional singing role, and an instrumental scheme where "Nothing" 1, 3, and 5 are written for the whole ensemble, and "Nothing"; 2 and 4 are written for a smaller subset of that ensemble. 

 

Nothing No. 1, 3, and 5, with its spatial notation and improvisatory nature, lends itself to work for many instrumental combinations. Instrumentalists are asked to whisper fragments of the text that is delivered by both the baritone and soprano roles. The more percussive 2nd and 4th movements utilize only one vocal part, and a smaller subset of the ensemble that is more standardized (violin, clarinet, piano, percussion, and baritone).

Movements

The first and last movements begin as what appears to be an exercise in warming-up, starting from one central pitch and slowly expanding from that point, returning focus once again to the pitch we originally departed from. The text, written by contemporary Indian Pranja Desai, is also titled Whispering City.

Instrumentation for Orchestra Version

Flute (2), Oboe, English Horn, Clarinet (2), Bassoon (2)

Trumpet (2), Horn (2), Trombone (2), Tuba

Percussion (+Mallets), Timpani, Harp, Piano

Violin I, Violin II, Viola, 'Cello, Double Bass

No. 1: In the End

 

I sweeten as do onions

              caramelized.

In the end is carbon dark.

No. 2: Brackish & Blue

 

Brackish and blue belong

Together.

             Look here:

In the puddle

             A white kitten floats;

A handkerchief the colour of its eyes

             Slitting the neck.

No. 3: More to Me

 

If you think there is more to me

you force the blankness to blacken.

No. 4: Broken Pavement

 

Poets, thinkers,

                   I am beyond your ken.

                   An incomplete sentence,

Like the shape of the sickle moon

 Only stammerers can make poems       

                  For me.

                  I am a broken pavement.

 
The Anatomy of the Curiosity Cabinet  [ 2011 ]

a multi-movement work

for chamber orchestra

Movement No. I

tutti ensemble

Movement No. II
flute, trombone,

auxiliary percussion, vibraphone, & piano

Movement No. III
piccolo, tuba, viola,

& auxiliary percussion

Movement No. IV
viola, violoncello, & vibraphone

 

 

 

Movement No. V
oboe & double bass

Movement No. VI
clarinet in Bb, double bass,

auxiliary percussion, vibraphone, & celeste

Movement No. VII
bass clarinet in Bb, flugelhorn,

violin, viola, & violoncello

 

 

Movements

 

Movement No. VIII

trumpet, trombone, & tuba

 

 

Movement No. IX

solo percussion (& ensemble)

 

Movement No. X

clarinet in Bb, violin, violoncello,

vibraphone, & piano

Movement No. XI

flute, clarinet, trombone, tuba,

violin, viola, violoncello, double bass, & piano

Movement No. XII
flute, oboe, bass clarinet in Bb, flugelhorn,

celeste, vibraphone, & auxiliary percussion


Movement No. XIII
flute solo

Movement No. XIV
tutti ensemble

ABOUT

The Anatomy of the Curiosity Cabinet is a 14-movement work is  an exploration of the timbral variety and orchestrational choices available within different subsets of a large ensemble, employing the full 16 piece group only at its end-cap movements.  Each movement of 'The Anatomy....' represents a gem one would find in a 19th century curiosity cabinet; an item collected in travel, an odd treasure, slightly worn with time but rich with color and history.

Instrumentation for Orchestra Version

two Flutes (one doubling on Piccolo), Oboe/English Horn, Clarinet, 

Flugelhorn, Trombone, Tuba, 

Viola, Violoncello, & Double Bass

Piano, Mallet Percussion, Aux. Percussion, 

 

 

copyright

Whitney E. George

2020