Top, Edward

Edward Top was born in Ommen, the Netherlands, in 1972. Top has lived and worked in London, Bangkok, and Rotterdam. He now lives in Vancouver, Canada. Top studied composition and ...

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Waarom elders? : = Why elsewhere?, for chamber orchestra, 2002 / Edward Top

Publisher: Amsterdam: Donemus, cop. 2003
Publisher's number: 10681
Genre: Orchestra
Subgenre: Orchestra
Scoring: fl fl(pic) ob eh 2cl 2fg 2h 2trp trb perc str
Remarks: In opdracht van de Nederlandse Muziekdagen. - Geschreven voor het Radio Kamerorkest. - Opgedragen aan Wendy Chong. - Met voorw. - Tijdsduur: ca. 8'
Duration: 8'00"
Year of composition: 2002
Status: fully digitized (real-time delivery)

Program note (English): Central theme in the piece is longing, most of the time melancholic, but often passionate as well. The longing for happiness overseas, the frustration of the unreachable; why is happiness elsewhere? This hankering derives its expressiveness from human feelings, but also strives after a higher sphere manifesting itself as a dreamscape. In this composition the dreamscape is demonstrated by atmospheric sound coloring, the hankering appears as a tense, dominant-like sound. Isn’t it so that the dominant and diminished seventh chords raise the longing for relaxation? The question if relaxation follows the tension is of no importance here. (For example: measure 39-49 consists of parallel diminished-seventh chords. In a 'bi-tonal' way the winds that represent one 'tonality' are superimposed on the strings representing the other 'tonality'. The dominant-seventh sound is prominent in ms. 99 to 110). The archetypal motives that are present in the subconscious of the piece, are the points
of departure for how the work was conceived. In their naked form the style-characteristics of these motives are often traditional and they communicate on a level that is comprehendible for anyone with a little knowledge of music history. The frame of the piece one could say (NB: this is not referring to the physical form), consists of a network of motives that are colored by preference and cut up in layers in a multi-layered texture. Eventually these so-called traditional motives are viewed from a new perspective, without losing their communicative powers. Examples: the wals-like motive called 'love' in the introduction from measure 18 onward and in measure 130 where it evolves into the motive 'animated by ecstasy' which was already introduced in ms. 28-33. Most evocative is the melodic motive, with a melancholic quality, which is strongly fixed to it’s instrumentation of two clarinets. The composition opens and closes with this motive, in both cases accompanied by a chorale colored
here and there by other motives of which the most profound is the 'cluster'-motive (with the two flutes playing in minor seconds in their lower registers). Other motives are 'longing', 'dragon 1', 'dragon 2' (same motive in major and minor), the 'whipped-up' motive (midsection of the piece), the 'pathetical' and numerous nameless ones. - EDWARD TOP

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