Crux (2012)

For clarinet, percussion, and string sextet (and seven dancers)
Choreography by Leigh Schanfein
Duration: 16 minutes

World premiere: April 25, 2012
The DiMenna Center for Classical Music, New York
Martin Piecuch, conductor; Alicia Lee, clarinet; Alex Lipowski, percussion; Francis Liu and Tema Watstein, violin; Margaret Dyer and Nathan Schram, viola; Mariel Roberts and Aminda Asher, cello
Dancers: Tucker Davis, Michael Hodge, Oisín Monaghan, Lydia Phillips, Keelin Ryan, Lauren Santos, and Leigh Schanfein

This work is available for retail purchase from Theodore Front Musical Literature.
This work is available for institutional purchase from Harrassowitz (OttoEditions) and Theodore Front Musical Literature.

Program note: One of my very first works for dance, I commissioned Leigh Schanfein to choreograph this and another work for a full evening program of my compositions in April, 2012. I was interested in tying the instruments to specific dancers, so I divided the string sextet into three duos, each corresonding to a pair of dancers, and the clarinet to a solo dancer who was in some ways at odds with the ensemble. The percussion was not tied to a character but rather served to comment and intensify. After a brief clarinet solo, a challenging passage gradually builds the duets on top of each other; various episodes explore different textures and combinations of players and, following a chase scene and a climax, the work ends in a slow, melting chorale.

Excerpt of the work with the original choreography: