Ulterior Motives

string trio

Duration: 2:00

Program Notes:

I have always been intrigued and mystified by the oboe solo just before the recapitulation in the first movement of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony, the “Schicksals-Sinfonie” (Fate Symphony). Here, in the middle of the most famous example of brilliant, rigorous motivic development, is music that doesn’t belong.  This  outsider material, this brief, plaintive solo interjection, has always lingered in my imagination and memory, ineffable and somehow romantically epic, suggestive of Beethoven’s innermost secrets.  I digitally processed and stretched this moment into a version that tries to capture these impressions. The result is still mysterious but no longer solitary or reedlike. It has become a new, rich tapestry of a retransition that will remain brief and unresolved, trailing off into the ether rather than ending. When the work was nearly complete, I researched the word “Amorsima,” the name of the trio that commissioned the work in 2020.  In an uncanny synchronicity, I discovered that Amorsima was defined by Iannis Xenakis in the notes to his work Morsima-Amorsima as “that which does not come from Fate.”

Unpremiered
Commissioner: Amorsima Trio