From God's Back 40
Video from March 24, 2019, Meredith College,
Raleigh NC. Eric Pritchard, viola; Fred Jacobowitz, clarinet;
Carl Banner, piano
Full Score, legal-size (pdf) Cover
Legal-size is best for pianists reading from printed scores on paper. For electronic music readers, letter-size is more suitable.
Full Score, letter size (pdf) Cover
Parts are in two versions, both letter-size. The first is for either paper or electronic music readers.
B Flat Clarinet Part Viola Part
The second is only for electronic music readers, and has each part enlarged with the other staves reduced.
EMR Clarinet Part EMR Viola Part
I. Gimme that Old-Time Tetrachord MP3 recording Wav file (CD quality)
Don't Be Shy [7:40]
II. Yet Another Waltz MP3 recording Wav file
Anorexia composa [6']
III. Sic Transit Gloria Mundi MP3 recording Wav file
IV. The Albuterol Stomp MP3 recording Wav file
June 2017, clarinetist Fred Jacobowitz and pianist Carl Banner, director of
Washington Musica Viva, asked me to write a trio for clarinet, viola, and
piano. I had just moved to the little town of Cleveland, North Carolina, in
rural western Rowan County, nestled in the bucolic Piedmont about an hour drive
from the nearest big cities. I had lived in Raleigh since 2001, and retired in
May after seven years teaching physics at NCSU.
I settled in with an old friend who had some extra space in his home,
had time to do what I like and take care of my health. I couldn’t compose
during my final months in Raleigh, but the new environment proved
creativity. After two years, in 2019, I moved back to the
Raleigh area (Garner) to rent-assisted senior housing; it took a couple
of years on the wait list.
first movement is based on various tetrachords, which is very common in my
music—not from some theoretical plan, but just because that seems to be how
things work out and sound right. I have written a piece before titled Diatonic Phrygian Tetrachord, which was
more specific about that particular type. There is a somewhat baroque flavor to
this section, as I came up with the basic ideas after listening to Bach violin
second movement is yet another waltz, as I have written altogether too many
already. I wouldn’t recommend trying to dance to this one.
third movement has a touch of country roots music to it; I appreciate
old fiddle tunes, and it was well-suited to the rural surroundings.
The finale is a big fast ending, inspired by my inspiration of albuterol as an inhaled medication for my COPD. One of the main problems of this disease (as well as my arthritis) is extreme fatigue; albuterol is a potent stimulant, as well as helping breathing.
This trio is the basis for Symphony No. 2: From God's Back 40 for full orchestra. The orchestration in 2023 resulted in a long list of corrections and a few improvements for this fourth edition.
usual style of piano playing is heavy on the sostenuto pedal; the indicated
pedal marks are really required, but please use freely. Notes that do not have
dots are not short. Individual movements
may be performed by themselves or in any combination.
It is fine with me if the
viola is either amplified or electric, such as an electric 5-string violin.