Charlottesville: Summer of 2017

By Lewis Spratlan | For Chamber Ensemble| ~20′

Title: Charlottesville: Summer of 2017
Lewis Spratlan
Year Composed:
flute, clarinet, alto saxophone, horn, violin and cello
: ~20′
Full Score
Catalogue Number:

Printed Edition Price: $55
PDF Edition Price: $50

Instrumental parts are also available for rental.  Please contact us for more information. 

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.

~Lewis Spratlan

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