24 February 2007

Copland: Nonet

Nonet (1960): For the Dumbarton Oaks series, and dedicated to Boulanger. Seldom heard work for three each violins, violas and cellos. In typical Copland fast-slow-fast form with the final fast a varied reprise of the opening. Homophonic chorale like opening in quite beautiful nine-note harmony. Doesn't have the robustness of much of Copland's fast material, more lyrial and pastoral than barn-dancy. Doesn't strike me as if he is using twelve-tone techniques, but there is clearly an importance placed on intervallic relationships. Copland commented on the elegiac sound saying that the bottom heavy insturmentation lends itself to such sentiment.

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