Excerpt of a performance by the Seattle Symphony:

Michael Miropolsky, conductor; Penelope Crane, viola; Mara Gearman, viola; Jeffrey Fair, horn; Adrianna Hulscher, violin; Joseph Kaufman, bass; Matt Kocmieroski, percussion; Seth Krimsky, bassoon; Rajan Krishnaswami, cello; Larey McDaniel, clarinet; Robin Peery, flute; Janet Putnam, oboe; David Ritt, trombone; Kimberly Russ, piano; Paige Stockley, cello; Jeannie Wells Yablonsky, violin; Alexander White, trumpet

Solis Ortus Tonalis (“Tonal Sunrise”) is a piece for Chamber Orchestra that was written for the 2014 Seattle Symphony Young Composers Workshop. The main theme is a 12-tone row. It begins in a mysterious darkness with sustained harmonics in the strings and eerie sounds from the percussion. Triadic fanfares in the brass are answered with atonal bird calls in the woodwinds based on the twelve tone row, symbolizing the conflict between tonality and atonality. Eventually the strings fade away and just the flute remains. Then a woodwind quartet plays an extended 12-tone bird-call like passage, which is answered by a 12-tone passage for string quartet, which grows increasingly more and more passionate. The percussion re-enters, driving the climax forward, and the brass plunge downward, but suddenly the music stops, and the dissonance resolves to a quiet major chord- like a “sunrise” of tonality. The bird calls return, except here they are put in a tonal context, and the strings swell up briefly with a bright chorale before fading back again. Then, suddenly, a march begins. The twelve tone row melody returns, but harmonized with tonal chords. As the march builds, the tone row slows down and becomes a soaring lyrical melody. Then, to complete the journey to tonality, the march transforms into an irish jig (based on “The Swallowtail Jig”), which is passed from the violins to various other instruments (including trombones and even timpani), before coming together for a final huge crescendo, ending on a bright major seventh chord.

Specific instrumentation is in the second page of the score.

For additional information, questions, or parts requests, contact Aidan.