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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Most beautiful bird of paradise : for ensemble, 2003 / Edward Top

Publisher: Amsterdam: Donemus, cop. 2003
Publisher's number: 10792
Genre: Orchestra
Subgenre: Large ensemble (12 or more players)
Scoring: fl(pic) ob(eh) cl cl-cb fg h trp trb perc hp acc 2vl vla vc cb
Remarks: Voor fluit (tevens piccolo), hobo (tevens althobo), klarinet, contrabasklarinet, fagot, hoorn, trompet, trombone, slagwerker, harp, accordeon, 2 violen, altviool, cello en contrabas. - In opdracht van en gecomponeerd voor het Schönberg Ensemble. - Met financiële steun van het Fonds voor de Scheppende Toonkunst. - Tijdsduur: ca. 10'
Duration: 10'00"
Number of players: 16
Status: fully digitized (real-time delivery)

Program note (English): The Schönberg Ensemble commissioned a work that should be an opening piece (like an ouverture) with a lyrical character. The title of the work is intended to be metaphorical and should therefore not be interpreted literally. It merely refers to a nostalgic feeling about memories or a close person in a lost or never existed (paradise-like) place. Because of the instrumentation which includes for instance an acoordion and a doublebass clarinet, the work consists of a wide spectrum of soundcolours. It is composed by means of a strictly used ratio of 2:3:6:3:2:6:2 which is applied to the formal structure, to bar-proportions, to contrapuntal proportions and to the rythm. Except for that, the main ratio is also used to generate pitches, where for instance '2' becomes a major second and '3' a minor third. As a result, a quite diatonic language is created with a composing process that reminds us of composers of post-war serialism, but also of the composer after whom the ensemble for
which this work was written was named. Instead of the negative attitude of serialists to avoid consonance, in this piece, consonance is being consciously searched for; the work is comprised of perfect fourths.On one hand these fourths are used like in Schönberg's first Chamber Symphony (meaning in a (horizontal) melodic way or being piled up until a wide chord is achieved), but on the other hand they are part of successive harmonies with which the work gets a massive, primitive, almost middleage-like character. - EDWARD TOP

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