Premiere of Firestorm by members of the Charlotte Symphony, Providence Chamber Music Series Charlotte, North Carolina
Firestorm is a piece that is reflective in nature. The combination of winds and piano with tympani gives a group of instruments that has consistent attacks that match well with each other. It also gives the tympani an opportunity to participate in a chamber setting. The piece consists of four movements, two lyrical and two that are more abstract.
Hammberblow, pits the piano against the winds. It opens with a violent, stabbing gesture high in the piano’s register. The tympani responds with melodic fifths which are transferred into the winds and become the genitive material of the entire piece. This motion then builds itself to a screaming climax before winding down towards an unresolved end.
Digging in the Dirt is more lyrical in nature. It is movement presenting an idea which is experiencing resistance as it makes itself known. Whistling in the Dark is the second of the abstract movements. The piano
returns with an elongated and harmonically open version of the opening of the piece. The low gesture in the horn and bassoon represents the “monster in the closet,” the thought that rattles around in your head, but never makes itself fully known. In the end, the “monster” remains a mystery.
Bump and Grind is a lighter movement which derives its name from the beginning piano and tympani exchange. The terseness of the introduction soon gives way to an energetic and rhythmic movement. The motion of the piece picks up and propels itself through a series of small, rhythmic, cells