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Portal Gates

By Larry Clark

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Orchestra Cello, Contrabass, Piano, Viola, Violin 1, Violin 2, Violin 3 - Grade 2
Composed by Larry Clark. Young String Orchestra. Set of Score and Parts. With Standard notation. 10+16+16+10+10+4+4+12 pages. Duration 3 minutes, 33 seconds. Carl Fischer Music #YAS144. Published by Carl Fischer Music (CF.YAS144).

Item Number: CF.YAS144

ISBN 9780825899072. 9x12 inches. Key: G major.

Think of a magnificent entrance to a city or castle, such as the fictitious Camelot. This is the impression composer Larry Clark is trying to convey with this strong, new piece for strings. Based upon intervals of fifths and fourths, the main melodic material is confident yet joyful, contrasted with a lush B section and a robust C section in a minor key. It is sophisticated music for young groups, but still something they will love to play. This piece is good example of why Larry's music is so popular year after year.
The title Portal Gates was derived from the intervals of the fourth and fifth that are ubiquitous in the music. It brought to mind images of grand entrances or archways, like the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, with its strong lines and ornate sculptures. I tried to depict that in the music that I wrote.The piece begins with downward-reaching fourths that create quartal harmony in the introduction. This is followed by the main theme based on upward-reaching fifths with strong open fifths in the accompaniment. This is contrasted by a legato second theme with lush harmonies and flowing countermelodies. After one morestatement of the main theme, the piece moves to the relative minor and develops fragments of the descending open fifth, becoming more intense each time with dramatic pauses between punctuated half-steps. The piece works its way back to the legato B-theme, which leads to a return of the main theme followed by a short coda that is a reversal of the introduction (ascending-reaching fourths and fifths instead of the downward reaching ones from the introduction). The quartal harmony returns followed by a final statement of the fifths to complete the piece.It has been my pleasure to have the opportunity to write this piece. I hope you and your students enjoy it and find it useful for your program.—Larry ClarkLakeland, FL 2015.

About Carl Fischer Young String Orchestra Series

This series of Grade 2/Grade 2.5 pieces is designed for second and third year ensembles. The pieces in this series are characterized by:
--Occasionally extending to third position
--Keys carefully considered for appropriate difficulty
--Addition of separate 2nd violin and viola parts
--Viola T.C. part included
--Increase in independence of parts over beginning levels

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