Lorin Maazel and the New York Philharmonic Perform World Premiere of Bernard Rands' "chains like the sea"

October 1, 2008: Bernard Rands' "chains like the sea" sees its world premiere this month at the hands of Lorin Maazel and the New York Philharmonic on Wednesday, October 1 in honor of the composer's 75th birthday. Dedicated to Maestro Maazel and the New York Philharmonic and marking Rands' fourth commission from the orchestra, "chains like the sea" is inspired by the composer's experiences living in Wales. The work takes its title, and those of its two movements, "the sabbath rang slowly" and "rivers of the windfall light" from the Dylan Thomas poem Fern Hill. Rands comments:

The first movement articulates its 10-minute duration with periodic pealing of bells beginning softly and on a single pitch, gradually increasing in volume and density to a final bell-peal chord of 28 pitches. Each bell toll is followed by a prolongation of its resonance, melodically and harmonically, in the orchestra. The suggestive imagery of the second movement is that of leaves caught in sunlight and formed into rivulets by gentle breezes and forceful winds. Beginning with a Ritornello which features complex rhythmic patterns on three trumpets, its opening appearance is skeletal but on each recognizable return (there are five of them) it is more elaborate in orchestral density which celebrates the extraordinary virtuosity of a great orchestra.

Lorin Maazel and the New York Philharmonic perform "chains like the sea" on Wednesday, October 1 and Thursday, October 2 at Lincoln Center's Avery Fisher Hall. Also this month Rands' Ballad 2 for female voice and piano is presented by the Mills College Center for Contemporary Music on October 10 in Oakland, California.

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