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Selected Works

On 17, May 2016 | In | By joel

Movable Home (for string orchestra) (2015)

Movable Home for String Orchestra
Instrumentation: string orchestra (1.1.1.1.0 solo, plus 2.2.2.1.1 absolute minimum, more preferred – see below)
Duration: 18 minutes

Excerpt 1 (click here): Bright and energetic: The opening. A fast, energetic, and in-your-face introduction to the piece’s basic material: descending scales and a syncopated rhythm. (Mm. 1-33)

Excerpt 2 (click here): Ethereal (un poco rubato): A final distillation of the descending scales mixed with nostalgic melodic fragments from earlier variations. (Mm. 314-335)

Excerpt 3 (click here): Tenderly (poco rubato): Part of the expressive “central core“ of the piece as thematic bits coalesce into long melodic lines… which are then abruptly undercut by an unpredictable jazzy treatment of the scalar material (Mm. 177-225)

Excerpt 4 (click here): A tempo, intense: A further development of the opening rhythms plus an important expressive secondary theme appears for the 1st time. (Mm. 37-71)  

Video: Movable Home (complete)

The East Coast Premiere by the String Orchestra of New York City (SONYC) on the “Jeffrey Zeigler presents” series at National Sawdust

To see a perusal score click here.

About the work:

Movable Home is a set of “kaleidoscopic-funhouse-hall-of-mirrors-whodunit” passacaglia-like variations. Materials coalesce, bubble up, and recombine in surprising and varied ways: energetic, playful, elegiac, unhinged, jazzy, even an even an Indian-tinged vocalise for violin and cello. It also features the 4 principal strings as soloists against the rest of the ensemble. It is in one movement.

Reactions to Movable Home:
“When I heard the title of Joel Friedman’s new piece for string orchestra, I really didn’t know what to expect. Movable Home skillfully weaves and stitches together different styles while telling a very personal story of three different locations – always exploring the full color-palette of the orchestra.  Not only was the piece a real blast to play, it also got an immediate and overwhelming response from our audiences!”
Monica Bauchwitz-Co-concertmaster/Artistic director, String Orchestra of NYC
” A sense of shifting around an expressive solid core—the house is movable, the sense of home is exciting and moving.”
Barbara Day Turner-Music Director/Conductor,  San José Chamber Orchestra

Duration: 18 minutes

Instrumentation details: absolute minimum 3-3-3-3-1 (solo 1.1.1.1.0 plus 2-2-2-2-1); 6-5-4-3-2, or larger, is strongly preferred (even scaled up to full symphonic strings) as the principals are also soloists and the sections are written divisi.

  • With smaller string compliments it is possible to have the soloists join the section in the tutti However this is not preferred.

Commission: Consortium of San José Chamber Orchestra (Artistic Director Barbara Day Turner), Takoma Ensemble (Victoria Gau, Artistic Director) and  SONYC (String Orchestra of New York, Monica Bauchwitz, Artistic Director).

Premiere: October 11, 2015 at Trianon Theatre, San José, California, San José Chamber Orchestra, Barbara Day Turner, conductor. East Coast Premiere: February 12, 2016. National Sawdust Brooklyn, New York, SONYC (String Orchestra of New York); Monica Bauchwitz, Artistic Director. Capitol Region Premiere: April 9, 2016. Church of the Ascension, Silver Spring MD, the Takoma Ensemble, Victoria Gau, Artistic Director.

Download the program note Download the program note