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Elegy (2011)

for string orchestra

Listen to excerpt:  

Elegy - excerpt

Instrumentation: strings


Duration: 6 minutes 


World Premiere:  Commissioned and premiered by the Eastern Music Festival Orchestra, Gerard Schwarz, conductor, on July 2, 2011.


Program Notes: 

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

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