Matthew Kennedy | composer
| all the bright precious things
Instrumentation: 2;2;2;2; sax 4tet; 2;2;2;1;1; timp+3; and violin soloist
Commissioner: Michelle Kim-Painter
Year Composed: 2021
Premiere: USF Wind Ensemble
Matthew McCutchen, director
In writing All The Bright Precious Things, I sat out to explore a great many unknowns. There are but a handful of works written for violin and wind ensemble, and even fewer taking the form of a violin concerto. The work was commissioned and brought to life by collaborator and dear friend, Michelle Kim-Painter. Together we ventured out into the unexplored and uncharted to find what might be possible within the exciting (and ever-expanding) world of wind ensemble repertoire.
“Bubblegum Pop!” is a coloristic collage of youthful energy, replete with starts and stops with every unexpected turn or hiccup we encounter. Half of the adventure is getting lost in the journey along the way.
“Wax Rhapsodic” pays homage to a wealth of repertoire that we more commonly see the violin written within, full of allusions to masterworks for the instrument including the Bach Violin Partitas and Sibelius Violin Concerto. Moments range from tender and naive to wild and virtuosic all with a wink of the eye and tongue firmly planted in-cheek.
“Fade So Fast” takes its title from the conclusion of the F. Scott Fitzgerald quote from which the title of the full work is taken. “All the bright precious things fade so fast, and they don’t come back.” (The Great Gatsby, 1925). The movement shares elements of a concerto for orchestra along with a standalone concerto finale, pushing ensemble virtuosity as much as the soloist. The quiet naivete of the previous movement and the youthful vigor of the opening movement now are combined into a nostalgic high wire act, balancing the individual within the group and what it means to lose yourself in the wandering; lost becoming found and lost again.