Marionettenfädendurcheinanderwalzer (2011)

Version 1 for flute, oboe, guitar, mandolin, violin, and cello (written for the Cygnus Ensemble)
Version 2 for flute, oboe, piano, violin, and cello
Version 3 for piano 4-hands (written for Piano Theatre)
Version 4 for solo piano (2013)
All with two or four dancers
Choreography by Leigh Schanfein
Duration: 6 minutes

World premiere (version 2): April 25, 2012
The DiMenna Center for Classical Music, New York
Martin Piecuch, conductor
Sarah Carrier, flute; Kristin Leitterman, oboe; Francis Liu, violin; Mariel Roberts, cello; William McNally, piano
Dancers: Tucker Davis and Leigh Schanfein

Version 1 premiere: May 1, 2012
Elebash Recital Hall, New York
The Cygnus Ensemble; Jonathan Howard Katz, conductor
Dancers: Tucker Davis and Leigh Schanfein

This work is available for retail purchase from Theodore Front Musical Literature (Version 1, Version 2, Version 3).
This work is available for institutional purchase from Harrassowitz (OttoEditions) and Theodore Front Musical Literature.

Program note: My first work for dance, I approached choreographer Leigh Schanfein with the idea of playing with the marionette cliché that is often seen in ballet, but where things go wrong. Strings snap, dolls collide, and the dancers end up in a broken pile. Musically I approached it as a parody of a Viennese waltz, with a similar sense of disaster. I originally wrote the work for the Cygnus Ensmble and its unusual instrumentation, but soon created versions for a more standard chamber ensemble as well as piano duet and solo piano. As for the title, I had some help in crafting a long, absurd German compound word from tenors Chris Lysack and Robert White, and Arnold Greissle-Schönberg, eldest grandson of the composer.