TIEBREAK (2010)

TIEBREAK (2010)

for orchestra

orchestra: 3*.3.3.3*/4.3.3.1./4perc/pno/arp/12.10.8.6.4
duration: 15 minutes
première: May 14, 2010, Congresshalle Saarbrücken, Germany
Deutsche Radio Philharmonie Saarbrücken Kaiserslautern
Conducted by Tito Ceccherini

Commissioned by Festival Mouvement Saarbrücken

TIEBREAK

score preview

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TIEBREAK

(full recording)

May 14, 2010, Congresshalle Saarbrücken, Germany (première)
Deutsche Radio Philharmonie Saarbrücken Kaiserslautern, Conducted by Tito Ceccherini
Produced by DRP and SR

Additional performances

April 21, 2016, Union Hall, Maribor, Slovenia
Symphony Orchestra SNG Maribor
Conducted by Benjamin Ellin
April 5, 2011, Slovenian Philharmonic, Ljubljana
RTV Slovenia Symphony Orchestra
Conducted by Marino Formenti

VIDEO

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TIEBREAK: Full recording
RTV Slovenia Symphony Orchestra
Conducted by Marino Formenti
Produced by RTV Slovenia
Directed by Samo Milavec
©2011 by RTV Slovenia

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TIEBREAK: Full recording
RTV Slovenia Symphony Orchestra
Conducted by Marino Formenti
Produced by RTV Slovenia
Directed by Samo Milavec
©2011 by RTV Slovenia

ABOUT

TIEBREAK continues Žuraj’s series of works whose titles are taken from aspects of match-play in tennis. A “tiebreak” is a series of games played within a tennis match to determine the winner of a set when the scores are tied at six games each. The first player or team to reach at least seven points with an advantage of at least two points over their opponent breaks the tie and takes the set.

The orchestral work TIEBREAK draws its inspiration from the pressure, uncertainty and resolve that a player feels when entering a tiebreak. At the opening of the work, chords conceived by the composer as vertical aggregates are presented instead as splintered structures that spread raggedly into horizontal sequences of notes, with here and there a single, dissonant interval being sustained. Apart from a couple of bars at the beginning, hardly a single coherent gesture is to be discerned until harp, piano and percussion join forces after several minutes in a series of staggered, tinkling impulses, soon to be joined by woodwinds and brass. This moment of clarity does not last long, as the sheer weight of the ensemble tips the texture back into tutti chaos.

This time, however, the brass and woodwinds have a sustaining function, and the fragmented chords begin to crystallise into long, microtonal harmonies that shift glacially over time. Eventually, even these chords separate from each other and become distinct entities with pauses in between, with the movement grinding almost to a standstill. When movement does resume again, it is not with the cultivated chaos of the opening, but instead with rhythmic pulsations on orchestral tutti chords, the harmonies now having established themselves as permanent and comprehensible structural entities. After reaching an emphatic climax, the chords begin to dissolve into uncertainty again, and the earlier triumphant resolve dissolves into nothingness.

Alwyn Tomas Westbrooke

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