ensemble orchestra (2.2.2.bcl.sax.2.cbn.-126.96.36.199-hp.kbd-strings)
duration 8 minutes
written winter 2009
written for Yale Symphony Orchestra
premièred April 19, 2009, New Haven, CT
published by Andres & Sons Bakery
Yale’s Woolsey Hall is a peculiar acoustic environment; its high ceiling, shallow stage, and hard, non-porous surfaces create a staggering 13-second reverberation, flattering some sounds and completely overwhelming others (the mighty Newberry organ sounds fantastic; anything fast or staccato, not so much). The effect is that of a giant bathroom.
When the YSO asked me to write a piece in memory of one of their past conductors, I knew I wanted to write for the hall that the orchestra has struggled with and triumphed in for some 40 years. I didn’t know William Harwood (he died the year I was born), but I did play keyboards in the yso for several years, experiencing first-hand the camaraderie and fierce playing that the group inspires.
That said, Bathtub Shrine is an elegy, based on a chaccone in parallel fifths. Rising fifths also act as a melodic impetus, on which first the saxophone and then other wind instruments ponder, debate, and elaborate (in that order).
recorded live at Gallagher-Bluedorn Performing Arts Center, Cedar Falls, IA, Feb. 2012
performers Jason Weinberger, conductor; Waterloo-Cedar Falls Symphony