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Still for viola and chamber orchestra

Thomas Larcher (b. 1963)

Thomas Larcher (photo credit: Richard Haughton)

Thomas Larcher (photo credit: Richard Haughton)

Composer
Thomas Larcher (b. 1963)
Composition Year
2002
Work Movements
1. Ruhig fliessend – schnell (attacca)
2. Ruhig fliessend – schnell – ruhig fliessend
Artists
Lawrence Power [viola], Irish Chamber Orchestra [orchestra], Thomas Larcher [piano], Paul Watkins [conductor]

Programme Note Writer:
© Thomas Larcher

The orchestration for this work consists of solo viola, a normal string orchestra but including a piano, which also serves as a percussion instrument. The work is characterised over long stretches by an organ point, something which I have observed has shown up in some of my last pieces. Towards the end this tonally stabilising state is abandoned and the F-sharp tone, which is the organ point, is functionalised and perceived as the dominant of B-minor. The variations around the organ point, which call it into question and then return to it – are all primarily initiated and sustained by the solo instrument. The tonally static state, which occurs over longer periods, provokes rhythmic developments which drive the piece forward. At the end, the motif from the beginning reappears, reinterpreted tonally and acoustically, bringing the jorney, so to speak, to an end.

The title Still refers primarily to the concept of the video still, a frozen image from a video film, which is altered, processed or perhaps left as it is. The interesting aspect of the video stills is usually the details, the patterns which one can observe and which one does not naturally see ( or at least perceives differently) when it is in motion. Correspondingly the piece deals with movement and the cessation of movement. It is also about introspection and activity. Still also means stillness – and stillness is precisely an idea which I associate very much with the viola.

Still was commissioned by the Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra and the International Mozarteum Foundation (ISM). The premiere took place on 2 February 2003 at the Salzburg Mozart Week with Kim Kashkashian and the Stuttgart Chamber orchestra under Dennis Russell Davies.

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Still for viola and chamber orchestra

Composer: Thomas Larcher (b. 1963)
Performance date: Tuesday 3rd July 2012
Venue: St. Brendan's Church, Bantry, Co Cork, Ireland

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Composer Thomas Larcher (b. 1963)
Work Title Still for viola and chamber orchestra
Composition Year 2002
Work Movements 1. Ruhig fliessend – schnell (attacca)
2. Ruhig fliessend – schnell – ruhig fliessend
Artist(s) Lawrence Power [viola], Irish Chamber Orchestra [orchestra], Thomas Larcher [piano], Paul Watkins [conductor]
Performance Date Tuesday 3rd July 2012
Performance Venue St. Brendan's Church, Bantry, Co Cork, Ireland
Event Main Evening Concert
Duration 00:22:03
Recording Engineer Anton Timoney, RTÉ lyric fm
Instrumentation Category Small Mixed Ensemble
Instrumentation va, orch, pf
Programme Note Writer © Thomas Larcher

The orchestration for this work consists of solo viola, a normal string orchestra but including a piano, which also serves as a percussion instrument. The work is characterised over long stretches by an organ point, something which I have observed has shown up in some of my last pieces. Towards the end this tonally stabilising state is abandoned and the F-sharp tone, which is the organ point, is functionalised and perceived as the dominant of B-minor. The variations around the organ point, which call it into question and then return to it – are all primarily initiated and sustained by the solo instrument. The tonally static state, which occurs over longer periods, provokes rhythmic developments which drive the piece forward. At the end, the motif from the beginning reappears, reinterpreted tonally and acoustically, bringing the jorney, so to speak, to an end.

The title Still refers primarily to the concept of the video still, a frozen image from a video film, which is altered, processed or perhaps left as it is. The interesting aspect of the video stills is usually the details, the patterns which one can observe and which one does not naturally see ( or at least perceives differently) when it is in motion. Correspondingly the piece deals with movement and the cessation of movement. It is also about introspection and activity. Still also means stillness – and stillness is precisely an idea which I associate very much with the viola.

Still was commissioned by the Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra and the International Mozarteum Foundation (ISM). The premiere took place on 2 February 2003 at the Salzburg Mozart Week with Kim Kashkashian and the Stuttgart Chamber orchestra under Dennis Russell Davies.