Each movement of Three Ostinatos is based on a different repeated rhythmic pattern that spans the entire movement. The first movement moves like clockwork at a walking pace. Long melodies arc high above a mechanical ostinato that gradually transforms as the music proceeds. The euphonium and tuba are showcased with solos as the music eventually comes full-circle, returning to the opening at the close. The middle movement is haunting and lush, cast in a slow and cantabile 7/8 meter. The main melody is first played by a solo clarinet, who is joined by piccolo and vibraphone before the whole ensemble joins in. After an expansive climax, a solo horn gives a nostalgic return to the main theme. Closing the work is a quick polymetric celebration, overlaying melodies and rhythms in 5/8, 7/8, 3/4, and 3/2 and bringing the work to an energetic close.
The flexible instrumentation version was arranged as a response to the Covid-19 pandemic, and allows this piece to be performed by as few as six musicians.
Duration: ca 11'
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Full Wind Ensemble Instrumentation:
- 1 Piccolo, 3 Flutes, 1 Oboes, 3 Bb Clarinets, 1 Bass Clarinet, 1 Bassoon
- 2 Alto Saxophones, Tenor Saxophone, Baritone Saxophone
- 4 Horns in F, 3 Trumpets in Bb, 3 Trombones, 1 Euphonium, 1 Tuba
- Timpani, 4 Percussion
- Double Bass
Flexible Ensemble Instrumentation (now including strings!):
- 1: Piccolo/Flute/Violin/Clarinet
- 2: Flute/Oboe/Violin/Clarinet/Alto Saxophone
- 3: Violin/Viola/Clarinet/Trumpet/Alto Saxophone/French Horn
- 4: Violin/Viola/Clarinet/Trumpet/Alto Saxophone/French Horn
- 5: Tenor Saxophone/French Horn/Trombone/Euphonium/Bassoon/Cello
- 6: Bass Clarinet/Baritone Saxophone/Trombone/Euphonium/Bassoon/Cello/Bass/Tuba
- Percussion: Timpani, 4 Percussion (2 mallets, 2 unpitched)