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Three Places in Massachusetts, Op. 103 (2018)

Sonata for Euphonium and Piano

Recording:

MIDI Realization

Duration: 20'

  1. I. Salisbury
  2. II. Tanglewood
  3. III. Townsend

Program Notes:

This piece was conceived, from the very beginning, to be a Christmas gift for my dear friend Noah Lauziere. As I began the composition process, then, the fundamental question had to be asked. What does it mean to write a piece for someone? For me, that means both that it is a piece that no one else could have written them, and that it is not a piece I could write for anyone else.

One way to do this is to join the grand tradition of Schumann, Berg, and many others by inserting musical ciphers into the themes of the piece. In this way, the person's name generates and is inextricably linked with the thematic material. Initial instances of such have been marked in the score.

Another (perhaps more obvious) way is to draw inspiration from shared experiences and fond memories. This has determined the large-scale form of the piece. Although I shan't go into detail, a brief vignette of each movement follows:

I. Salisbury: A warm, sunny late June day. A road trip to the beach with Noah and our mutual friend Joseph Thompson. Listening to music with the windows down.

II. Tanglewood: An early August day. A road trip out to Tanglewood. Bernstein's 100th. Huddled under a single umbrella on the lawn, soaked from the rain, watching John Williams conduct.

III. Townsend: Countless summer nights. Town band concerts. Chamber music recitals, and after. Ice cream on the quad. Variations and theme on "Danny Boy".