Instrumentation: Violin, viola, percussion (1 player: glockenspiel, tambourine, triangle, metal wind chimes, 2 tuned crystal glasses)
Publisher: Boosey and Hawkes, Hendon Music (BMI)
Duration: 9 minutes
World Premiere: January 27, 2006 / Cullen Theater, Wortham Theater Center, Houston, Texas / Da Camera of Houston with members of the Houston Symphony / Hans Graf
Diamond in the Rough (2006) is nine minutes in duration and was composed on commission from the Da Camera of Houston in celebration of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s 250th Birthday-January 27, 1756. The first performance took place on January 27, 2006 by members of the Houston Symphony Orchestra, Hans Graf music director. The work is scored for violin, viola (like Mozart’s Symphonia Concertante) and percussion (one player-performing on glockenspiel, tambourine, triangle, metal wind chimes, and two tuned crystal glasses filled with water).
Diamond in the Rough is inspired by the multifaceted music of Mozart, a composer whose life, like a diamond, reflects and refracts many stories and myths. In the first movement, “Magic,” complex rhythms and unusual orchestrations create different angles on Papageno’s glockenspiel heard in The Magic Flute. Crystal glasses resonate in the second movement, “Fifty-Five Minutes Past Midnight,” echoing the exact time of Mozart’s mysterious death on December 5, 1791. The last movement, “Wig Dance,” mirrors the image of Mozart as an avid partygoer who once remarked he preferred “the art of dancing rather than music.”