for string orchestra
Duration: 6 minutes
World Premiere: Commissioned and premiered by the Eastern Music Festival Orchestra, Gerard Schwarz, conductor, on July 2, 2011.
Elegy was written for the Eastern Music Festival to mark their 50th anniversary season. The musical material for the piece comes from a section of my first String Quartet, which I subsequently arranged for string quintet. After many revisions and reworking, I set the work for full string orchestra, which I had always wanted to do, but never had the opportunity until Maestro Schwarz’s request for this piece came along.
This short work begins with a slow, lyrical chorale in the strings, emerging from nothing. The use of many open strings and double-stops (playing on two adjacent strings simultaneously) gives it a characteristic sound. The middle section makes use of high harmonics, accompanying a high, angelic cello melody, played by a solo cello in the upper most register of the instrument. After building to a resonant thematic statement, the lyrical chorale eventually dissolves back into the silence.
-- Pierre Jalbert
© 2016 Pierre Jalbert, Elegy
Photo: Julia Jalbert