Sketches from Salzburg (2018)
“Sketches from Salzburg” is based on the composer's musical sketches in Salzburg, Austria. The piece weaves together each theme or “sketch,” inspired by different elements of Salzburg, through a range of orchestral colors and harmonies. The chime strikes heard multiple times, resemble the church bells that vibrated throughout the day. The slow, plainchant-like melody, introduced by the low strings, evokes an antiquated presence like an old ticking clock. The broad melody, introduced by the brass, paints an image of the castle on the horizon. The fluttering birds and the ornamentation of old Classical music, which indeed evolved from this place, inspired the fast-moving rhythms that play against the slow tempo. The syncopated and “jazzy” melody introduced by the violas, cellos, and a muted trombone, timbrally and rhythmically suggests an American sound. The piece includes sudden bursts of dissonances contrasting with consonances and tonality, as well as complex and simple rhythmic figures. Thus, it is a musical hybrid of Old and New Music. The harmonic and rhythmic language suggests a sense of juxtaposition between a young American composer and his reflection of the old beautiful city.