Bell Illuminations for solo piano. Original map of form. Augusta Read b. 1964 THOMAS.
Bell Illuminations for solo piano. Original map of form.

Bell Illuminations for solo piano. Original map of form.

1 leaf. Oblong folio (ca. 279 x 432 mm.; 11" x 17") Executed in various colors on 80-pound white paper. Signed and dated by composer to lower right corner with title and dedication "Bell Illuminations / for pianist Daniel Pesca".

Map of form built on black timeline numbered 0-7. Above the timeline the musical form is sketched out in written descriptions and colorful graphics. Below timeline, "Macro Dynamic Shape" showing gradual crescendo from "pp" to "ff". Composer's note to lower left corner: "The music is intricately notated. Performer should make it sound as if it were being organically self-propelled on the spot. Audience should feel as if they are hearing an improvisation that just poured out of my ears and brain."

Together with phrase structure sketch; 1 folio (ca. 216 x 279 mm; 8.5 x 11") executed in various bright colors on white copy paper. Title to upper center; composer's initials and date to upper right corner; list of "sonic predecessors" in purple box to upper left corner. Sketches consist of four rough time-arcs executed mostly in red, yellow, and orange ink with written notes in blue and green and time durations given in seconds above discreet sections of the sketches.

Fine condition.

Bell Illuminations was commissioned by pianist Daniel Pesca.

The sonic predecessors of BELL ILLUMINATIONS include Ravel, Debussy, Scriabin, Herbie Hancock, Art Tatum, and Bill Evans whose musical perfumes I have reveled in for decades. The title’s word illumination has many meanings related to the music including radiance, lighting hues, decoration, ornament, embellishment and elucidation. Throughout the 7-minute arch, which is one long crescendo, musical connections are orbital. Sounds cross-fertilize and establish relationships which, in turn, create new intersections and fulcrum points. BELL ILLUMINATIONS unfolds a chain link of transformations, variations and outgrowths. The composition initially paints the image of bells being heard in the distance through mist. When rainbows appear (featuring the sostenuto pedal), bells swirl and dance around them until finally, we end up with radiant and bright illuminations, as if five bell-tower carillons were ringing at the same time.

"The music of Augusta Read Thomas (b. 1964 in New York) is nuanced, majestic, elegant, capricious, lyrical, and colorful — "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 will become the 16th person ever to hold a University Professorship, and the fifth currently at the University. 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, David Robertson, Christoph Eschenbach, 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); Prayer Bells (Pittsburgh Symphony); Bells Ring Summer (La Jolla Chamber Music Society); Galaxy Dances, and Cello Concerto (National Symphony); Violin Concerto (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. In 2007-2008, Thomas was a Visiting Scholar in the Department of Music in the Division of the Humanities at the University of Chicago. 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 has also been on the Board of Directors of the American Music Center since 2000, as well as on the boards and advisory boards of several chamber music groups."

Item #35589

Price: $2,200.00  other currencies

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