Apr 022012

This is the premiere performance of a new composition I finished last month, entitled “Antiphon, Lament, and Exaltation.” It was commissioned by the Sycamore Trio (my friends Dan Mattix, Katie Mattix, and Luke Lusk) with an excellent though underused instrumentation of violin, clarinet, and piano. The piece is in three movements, which the performers requested to be something that would serve equally well for a church service or a concert performance. Naturally, I was happy to oblige.

I was really pleased with the way everything turned out, so now you get to see it. Here’s a video recording of each movement:

1. Antiphon

2. Lament

3. Exaltation

From the program notes:

The piece begins with an “Antiphon,” a term drawn from early church music where separate groups of musicians traded alternating musical phrases, often as part of an invocation or a responsive prayer. Here, a stately melody is exchanged among the three instruments with overlapping meters allowing each instrument to display its distinctive tonal color. The second movement, “Lament,” shows the melancholy side of the clarinet, with a lyrical, slightly Chopinesque solo evoking a wordless prayer of sorrow. Finally, “Exaltation” transforms the musical ideas of the first two movements into an outpouring of joy. Bright sixteenth-note arpeggios and a soaring melodic line combine to create a feeling of flight, concluding the piece with an uplifting moment of praise.

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“Antiphon, Lament, and Exaltation”
(for violin, clarinet, and piano)

Composed by Eric M. Pazdziora
Performed by Sycamore Trio
Violin: Katie Mattix
Clarinet: Luke Lusk
Piano: Dan Mattix
Premiered March 25, 2012, at Western Springs Christian Reformed Church, Western Springs, IL.
For more information, contact the composer.