Tell My Fortune for chamber orchestra | Michael Daugherty, composer

Tell My Fortune
for chamber orchestra (2004)

Instrumentation: Flute, piccolo (flute, alto flute), oboe, English horn, clarinet, bass clarinet, bassoon, contrabassoon; 2 horns, 2 trumpets; 2 percussion; piano; strings

Publisher: Boosey and Hawkes, Hendon Music (BMI)

Duration: 28 minutes

World Premiere: April 3, 2004 / Southern Theatre, Columbus, Ohio / ProMusica Chamber Orchestra / Timothy Russell

Program Note:

Tell My Fortune is a concerto for orchestra, which visits the dark world of gypsies and their methods of fortune telling: reading palms, tarot cards and gazing into crystal balls. In the first movement, entitled “Palm,” I read the lines, marks, and patterns of a hand as though it were a musical staff. Mysterious fanfares and melodies are framed by chimes, sleighbells, water gong, and bowed vibraphone. “Crystal” features the flute and alto flute in a haunting duet of extended flute techniques such as fluttering and bending of notes. The strings provide rhythmic counterpoint, while two percussionists play tuned crystal glasses and wind chimes. After a dramatic cello solo, the third movement, entitled “Card,” unfolds like a deck of tarot cards, shuffled and spread across the table. The movement ends in an exciting swirl of eastern intrigue and relentless tambourine rhythms.

–Michael Daugherty