Words of the Sea for orchestra. Autograph sketches. Augusta Read b. 1964 THOMAS.
Words of the Sea for orchestra. Autograph sketches
Words of the Sea for orchestra. Autograph sketches
Words of the Sea for orchestra. Autograph sketches

Words of the Sea for orchestra. Autograph sketches

Executed in black, red, green, orange, and yellow ink

1 leaf, 340 x 434 mm. musical notation in short score showing basic melodic and harmonic contour. Instruments indicated include double bass, flute, woodblocks, marimba, strings and brass. On 22-stave Judy Green P-538 music paper. Initialed by composer to lower right corner.

1 leaf, 355 x 600 mm. With "---beyond the genius of the sea---" at head of page followed by a 12-tone row consisting of 14 pitches (2 repeated). On the next staff, the row is organized into clusters "A," "B," "C," "X," "Y," and "Z," which are then sketched out both melodically and as chords; additional chord variations to lower left corner. Below row variations is a rhythmic sketch in red ink showing metric changes and and rhythmic patterns. Additional rhythmic notes on scrap of paper taped to leaf. Additional leaf taped to right margin notated with 14 iterations of the tone-row. 22-stave Judy Green P-538 music paper. Initialed and dated to lower right with autograph inscription: "for Pierre Boulez + CSO".

2 leaves with autograph musical notation consisting of a series of chords and tonal arrangements. 278 x 215 mm. Executed in black, blue, and red ink. One page signed "A.R. Thomas," the other "Augusta Read Thomas." Slightly worn. On 9-stave paper.

Very slightly worn. In very good condition overall.

Words of the Sea was premiered by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra under Pierre Boulez in 1996.

"The 17-minute piece is closely linked to a 1934 poem by Wallace Stevens. The idea of order at Key West. Walking on the seashore, the poet and a friend encounter a girl singing to herself. He is struck by a profound paradox:

"She was the single artificer of the world
in which she sang. And when she sang, the sea,
whatever self it had, became the self
That was her song, for she was the maker."

"Thomas' work does not set out to depict this scene so much as to reflect upon some of its aspects: it's a purely orchestral piece with, however, each of its four movements prefaced by a small fragment from the poem. The first, " ... words of the sea ... "is a wonderful example of both Thomas' way of suffusing her late-Modernist idiom with vivid melody, and of a style that is taut, chiselled, lucid, glowing with colour and energy. In the second movement, " ... the ever-hooded, tragic-gestured sea ...", Thomas summons up the deep, dark, unfathomable sonorities of the contrabass clarinet, along with slow, heavy orchestral surges and an outburst of frightening but majestic power. The third returns us to the image of the girl singing " ... beyond the genius of the sea ...": it's a movement of mad, frolicking exuberance, whose dancing, darting melodic line seems to collide constantly, synergetically, with some overwhelming force. The final movement is the calmer, more meditative " ... mountainous atmospheres of sky and sea ...", its great swathes of colour and slow rates of change evoking spaces of vast dimension. Though the movement is offered as a tribute to Debussy, the sound qualities are closer to Alban Berg than to the composer of La Mer." Christopher Ballantine, International Record Review, October 2004

"The music of Augusta Read Thomas ... is majestic, it is elegant, it is lyrical, it is "boldly considered music that celebrates the sound of the instruments and reaffirms the vitality of orchestral music." Philadelphia Inquirer

"Born in Glen Cove, New York, Thomas was appointed University Professor of Composition at the University of Chicago in 2011. University Professors are selected for internationally recognized eminence in their fields as well as for their potential for high impact across the University. Thomas became the 16th person ever to hold a University Professorship. Additionally, she was the Mead Composer-in-Residence with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (CSO) from May 1997 through June 2006, a residency that culminated in the premiere of Astral Canticle — one of two finalists for the 2007 Pulitzer Prize in Music. During her residency with the CSO, under the direction of Daniel Barenboim, Thomas not only premiered nine commissioned works, but also founded, along with Cliff Colnot, and curated the MusicNOW series. In addition to Barenboim, Thomas's music has been championed by other leading conductors including Pierre Boulez, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Oliver Knussen, Seiji Ozawa, Mstislav Rostropovich, Leonard Slatkin, Lorin Maazel, David Robertson, Christoph Eschenbach, Ken-David Masur, William Boughton, Vimbayi Kaziboni, Ludovic Morlot, and Xian Zhang. Her music has been commissioned by leading ensembles and organizations around the world including: Love Songs (Chanticleer); Chanting to Paradise (NDR [German Radio] Orchestra); Song in Sorrow (The Cleveland Orchestra); Orbital Beacons, Aurora, In My Sky at Twilight, Ceremonial, Carillon Sky, Words of the Sea, Trainwork, Tangle, and Astral Canticle (Chicago Symphony Orchestra); Gathering Paradies (New York Philharmonic); Sweet Potato Kicks the Sun (Santa Fe Opera in association with San Francisco Opera and 7 other opera houses); Far Past War (The Washington Choral Arts Society); Sun Dance (Indianapolis Symphony); Prayer Bells (Pittsburgh Symphony); Bells Ring Summer (La Jolla Chamber Music Society); Galaxy Dances, and Cello Concerto (National Symphony); Violin Concerto #3 (Radio France and the BBC Orchestra); Helios Choros I (Dallas Symphony); Helios Choros II (London and Boston Symphony Orchestras); Helios Choros III (Orchestre de Paris); Pulsar (BBC); Terpsichore's Dream (Utah Symphony); Canticle Weaving (Los Angeles Philharmonic); and Cantos for Slava (ASCAP Foundation).

From 1993 to 2001, Thomas was an assistant professor, then associate professor of composition at the Eastman School of Music, and from 2001 until 2006 she was the Wyatt Professor of Music at Northwestern University. She taught for many years at the Tanglewood Music Festival and at the Aspen Music Festival. Frequently, Thomas undertakes short-term residencies in colleges, universities, and festivals across the United States and in Europe.

Thomas studied composition with Jacob Druckman at Yale University, with Alan Stout and Bill Karlins at Northwestern University, and at the Royal Academy of Music in London. She was a Junior Fellow in the Society of Fellows at Harvard University (1991–94) and a Bunting Fellow at Radcliffe College (1990–91), and often teaches composition at Tanglewood. Thomas is Vice President for Music, The American Academy of Arts and Letters; member of the Board of Directors of The Aaron Copland Fund for Music, Inc.; member of the Board of Directors of the Koussevitzky Foundation; member of the Board of Directors of the Alice M. Ditson Fund at Columbia University; and member of the Conseil Musical de la Foundation Prince Pierre de Monaco.

She was on the Board of Directors of the American Music Center for 11 years from 2000 to 2011; Chair of the Board of the American Music Center, a volunteer position, from 2005 to 2008; on the board of the ICE (International Contemporary Ensemble) for many years; on the boards of several chamber music groups; and was Director of the Festival of Contemporary Music at Tanglewood in 2009.

In 2013, Nimbus Records embarked on a project to record her complete works and has released 8 CDs to date; 89 CDs containing her music have been released by commercial record companies.

Thomas is a member of both the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.” The composer’s website.

Item #34979

Price: $4,000.00  other currencies

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