The challenge: to compose music for mid-level string orchestra that would retain my voice as a composer, while remaining within students’ technical abilities. The response: Speravi.
for string orchestra
designed for NYSSMA Grade 4 strings / commissioned by David Barg
This work was almost titled “Hopscotch Holiday,” an inside joke with conductor and clinician David Barg who with me deplores the insipid music young musicians so often must play. I accepted David’s challenge to compose music for mid-level string orchestra that would retain my voice as a composer, while remaining within students’ technical abilities.
Wonderful recent experiences writing for youth choruses emboldened me. I wanted once more to give young musicians my real music, to probe feelings as deep as any found in my professional-level chamber and orchestra music. This led to a piece with melodies no longer than three notes, mostly just pulses and scales, but tremendous contrast, and a progression from agitation to serenity. I hope living with this music, as young players do through extended rehearsal periods, opens a door for them to a musical world beyond peppy tunes, and helps give voice to emotions I surely remember from that period in my life.
The work premiered under David Barg’s baton on November 3, 2007, in Akron, New York at the New York State School Music Association’s All-State Regional Festival.
—Theodore WiprudRent Score and Parts »