Boundless was commissioned by the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, who requested a homage to Leonard Bernstein (anticipating the centennial of the great composer/conductor’s birth) that could be programmed alongside L.B.’s Serenade for solo violin, strings, harp and percussion. As I have always admired L.B. ever since I watched the film West Side Story when I was 9 or so, I agreed to write this piece.
The instrumentation is basically the same as that of the Serenade, but without the solo violin and with the addition of a keyboard player on celesta and synthesizer. The work is a kind of mini-symphony in three short movements (fast, slow, fast) played attacca (i.e., without breaks). It directly references material from two little piano pieces by L.B.: Nos. 5 and 13 from his last (1988) cycle of Anniversaries - little piano pieces L.B. wrote throughout his life and which he would often pick up and expand in other, larger works, most notably in his Serenade. In my piece, however, the music often moves quite far from the source material, so that most of the time, it is no longer recognizable. (read more)
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