String Theory (2016)
for string orchestra
Instrumentation: string orchestra
Duration: 17 minutes
World Premiere: Premiered by the East Coast Chamber Orchestra (ECCO) and commissioned by the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society in celebration of its 30th anniversary season, through support of The William Penn Foundation, in Philadelphia, PA on May 13, 2016 at the Perelman Theater, Kimmel Center.
String Theory is in three movements and was inspired by the idea of dynamic vibrating strings, referring to both the musicval instruments and the theory of quantum gravity. In terms of the string instruments, the idea of dividing a string in various ways to produce harmonics (Partials), sustaining long held tones (Timeless), and rapidly moving the bow back and forth along the string (Rhythmus) all played a part in the work, as did the idea of vibrating strings propagating through space-time and interacting with each other in various ways.
The first movement, Partials, contains pulsating music and exploits both natural and artificial harmonics on each of the instruments. The second movement, Timeless, is a more lyrical, floating movement marked "with a sense of cosmic time." The third movement, Rhythmus, is fast-paced and syncopated. It contains virtuosic rhythmic figures for the entire ensemble, but also features solo first and second violin parts, echoing and dueling with each other, leading to the entire ensemble merging for the final push to the end.
-- Pierre Jalbert
© 2016 Pierre Jalbert, String Theory
Photo: Julia Jalbert