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Tourbillon by David R. Gillingham. Chamber Ensemble. For Violin, Bb Trumpet & piano (violin trumpet in Bb piano). Medium difficult. Score and parts. Duration 7:30. Published by C. Alan Publications (CN.17180).
Tourbillon is French for 'whirlwind.' The structure of Tourbillon follows the random appearances of these whirlwinds, twisting and turning and carrying two basic motives throughout the piece. The circling and twisting dissipates in the middle of the piece to a calm 'summer breeze.' But then, the motion resumes only to again dissipate at the end of the piece.
Tourbillon is French for 'whirlwind.' When I was a young child growing up on a farm in Wisconsin, I remember being fascinated with what my brother and I called 'small tornadoes.' These small 'whirlwinds' actually frightened me as I thought that I might be lifted up by one and carried away. These meteorological events would start small, grow in size and move from side to side picking up debris and carrying it skyward. Sometimes several would form and sometimes they would converge. But these little 'dust winds' would often dissipate just as quickly as they would form. The structure of Tourbillon follows the random appearances of these whirlwinds, twisting and turning and carrying two basic motives throughout the piece, the first heard by the trumpet in measure 3 and the second in the piano at measure sixteen. The circling and twisting dissipates in the middle of the piece to a calm 'summer breeze.' But then, the motion resumes only to again dissipate at the end of the piece. Polychordal diminished seventh chords provide the harmonic basis for the piece along with augmented 9th chords for the secondary theme. The melodic material is derived mostly from octatonic scales.
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