Wednesday, March 10, 1999

Animal Farm, Op.76


Op. 76 ANIMAL FARM
(March 10, 1999; New Music, 1999)
Grand Zoological Fantasy-Variations for Chamber Orchestra
(1111 1111, 1 perc, pf, strings)

A. Cold-Blooded
I. Wasps
II. Flies
III. Spiders
IV. Crabs
V. Sharks
VI. Frogs
VII. Turtles
VIII. Snakes

B. Birds
IX. Penguins
X. Ducks
XI. Swans
XII. Eagles
XIII. Seagulls
XIV. Chickens
XV. Nightingales
XVI. Cuckoos

C. Mammals I
XVII. Platypusses
XVIII. Kangaroos
XIX. Mice
XX. Squirrels
XXI. Whales
XXII. Bears
XXIII. Cats
XXIV. Lions

D. Mammals II
XXV. Dogs
XXVI. Wolves
XXVII. Skunks
XXVIII. Elephants
XXIX. Horses
XXX. Donkeys
XXXI. Pigs
XXXII. Sheep

The 32 Grand Zoological Fantasy-Variations of Animal Farm take for its subject the structure of Leslie Bricusse's Talk to the Animals, with each variant as four eight-bar phrases, plus a four-measure coda (36 total). The four variational subsets are in a biological progression derived from the work of Carolus Linnaeus as A. Cold-Blooded, B. Birds, C. Mammals I, and D. Mammals II. Variations have been premiered in Philadelphia, PA; Surrey, ME; and Tacoma, WA -- and the entire work, with videos, is online at the DrMarkAlburger channel on YouTube. The music is ideally paired with a coda of The Four Temperaments -- a quartet of human pieces on the same subject.

Musical gene-splicing may be heard in Cold-Blooded from Ralph Vaughan Williams's The Wasps and Tuba Concerto, F.J. Haydn's Symphony No. 94 ("Surprise"), Sergei Prokofiev's Peter and the Wolf, Gustav Mahler's Symphony No. 4, Gilles Binchois's L'homme arme (treated as crab and mensuration canons a la Guillaume Dufay and Josquin des Pres), Camille Saint-Saens's Carnival of the Animals, John Williams's Jaws, Alburger's Mice and Men, Peter Tchaikovsky's The Nutcracker, Oliver Wallace's Alice in Wonderland, and Igor Stravinsky's The Flood.

Performances:

May 7-8, 1999
Mark Alburger, Piano
Susan Hess Dance Studio, Philadelphia, PA

December 15, 2001
The Surrey Ensemble, Thom Wubbenhorst
The Surrey School, Surrey, ME

December 18, 2001
The Annie Wright School
Tacoma, WA

December 1, 2005
Tritone Orchestra
Diablo Valley College Music Technology Center, Pleasant Hill, CA

April 26, 2007
Tritone Orchestra
Diablo Valley College Music Technology Center, Pleasant Hill, CA

April 18, 2008
Tritone Orchestra
Diablo Valley COllege Music Technology Center, Pleasant Hill, CA


Recording:

ANIMAL FARM
(New Music, 2008)

A. Cold-Blooded

I. Wasps









II. Flies









III. Spiders









IV. Crabs









V. Sharks









VI. Frogs









VII. Turtles









VIII. Snakes









B. Birds

IX. Penguins
X. Ducks
XI. Swans
XII. Eagles
XIII. Seagulls
XIV. Chickens
XV. Nightingales
XVI. Cuckoos


C. Mammals I

XVII. Platypusses
XVIII. Kangaroos
XIX. Mice
XX. Squirrels
XXI. Whales
XXII. Bears
XXIII. Cats
XXIV. Lions

D. Mammals II

XXV. Dogs









XXVI. Wolves









XXVII. Skunks









XXVIII. Elephants









XXIX. Horses









XXX. Donkeys









XXXI. Pigs









XXXII. Sheep