By Lewis Spratlan | For Chamber Ensemble | 17′
Title: Charlottesville: Summer of 2017
Composer: Lewis Spratlan
Year Composed: 2017
Instrumentation: For Flute, Clarinet in B-Flat, Alto Saxophone, Horn in F, Violin, Cello
Format: Full Score in C
Page Size: Letter
Catalog Number: OM0432
Format: Performance Set: Full Score in C + 6 Parts
Page Size: Letter
Catalog Number: OM0432SP
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From the composer:
Charlottesville: Summer of 2017 is a dark pun on Barber’s famous “Knoxville: Summer of 1915,” an idyllic childhood memory of a nostalgic and benign sojourn in Tennessee.
Although the piece, for flute, clarinet, alto saxophone, horn, violin, and cello, is inherently political, it is not aimed at a single perpetrator, but rather at the horrific state of affairs we find ourselves in as a nation, especially on the racist/nationalist front. Apart from the obvious marching, fighting, and shouted slurs, it contains a middle section that quotes “Carry Me Back to Old Virginny,” with prolonged harping on “old,” and a hysterically manic Aeolian/Phrygian version of “Dixie.” The augmented 4th “Hooray!” in the refrain gradually morphs into the opening phrase of Bach’s great chorale “Es ist genug,” (“It is enough!”) where the violin shouts forth music very different from the little scalar wisps for that instrument in Berg’s violin concerto, where the chorale is its emotional and spiritual heart.
“Charlottesville” closes with an evocation of the climactic horror of the car smashing into a crowd of protesters, killing one and injuring many more, before subsiding into the dying gasp of “Es ist genug,” once again.
Commission/Dedication: This word was composed in response to the carnage in Charlottesville, Virginia August 2017.