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 Posted:   Feb 1, 2018 - 8:53 AM   
 By:   recordwrackedII   (Member)

On Sunday, January 28 I heard the new Bruce Broughton work, Salmagundi, commissioned by the New West Symphony. It was scored for the unusual combination of string quartet and orchestra and the exotic title means "a mixture or collection of miscellaneous items". (According to the program notes it also means "a type of mixed English salad and even, it is thought, a type of pirate stew.")

The substantial piece is in three movements. I hesitate to comment on a work I heard only once, and though I was very impressed, especially with the vivid orchestration, I will quote from the program notes by Dr. Richard E. Rodda:

"The first movement (Energetically, with enthusiasm) introduces the quartet immediately after the orchestral strings begin to play a light tremolo accompaniment with pizzicato accents. The theme that emerges is used throughout the movement and is contrasted by a slower section of descending string figures. There is a lot of thematic variation in the movement as fragments of the theme are tossed back and forth between the orchestra and the quartet throughout.

"The second movement begins with a theme stated primarily by the quartet, accompanied lightly by the orchestral strings. Three variations follow: fast, moderate and slow, each with its own distinctive character. The movement closes with a soft reference to the original theme from the solo clarinet.

"The last movement (Games) is a sort of cat-and-mouse fugue in which the themes are played, alluded to, mixed up and combined in a quick and playful manner. It begins with a statement of the main theme by the solo quartet, which is soon joined by the orchestra with its own statement of the theme and then cheerfully tossed to and fro between the two groups. Eventually the quartet introduces a second counter-theme and this, along with the first theme, is exploited in many different guises up to the finish."

Salmagundi, and two symphonies by Rachmaninoff and Tchaikovsky (the dramatic and very cinematic 6th) were also performed in Santa Monica and Thousand Oaks prior to the Oxnard concert.

I hope at some point this exciting new work will be recorded.

Ross Care,
Ventiura, California


Broughton: Salmagundi for String Quartet and orchestra, with the Lyris String Quartet
World Premiere. New West Symphony commission.

Instrumentation: piccolo, two flutes, two oboes, English horn, two clarinets, bass clarinet, two bassoons, contrabassoon, two horns, trumpet, bass trombone, percussion, harp and strings.
Duration: approximately 28 minutes.

 Posted:   Feb 1, 2018 - 9:21 AM   
 By:   CCW1970   (Member)

It sounds intriguing. I love Broughton's work, and have his "Fanfares, Marches, Hymnes & Finale" on the "Sound the Bells" SACD by the Bay Brass. Good stuff.

Hopefully this new commission does indeed getsrecorded at some point. Always eager to hear more Broughton.

Thanks for sharing!

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