2Fl – 2Ob – Cl – Bass Cl – Horn – Bsn
Duration: 9:00 minutes
Winner, Abraham Frost Prize in Composition, 1993
Fury’s Chalice (1992) is based in part on the composer’s reaction to the following quote from James Agee: Above all else:…don’t think of it as Art. Every fury on earth has
been absorbed in time, as art, or as religion, or as authority in one form or another. The deadliest blow the enemy of the human soul can strike is to do fury honor…
For the composer, the piece is a musical representation of fury itself. The opening section represents the initial outburst, and the prolongation of the emotion even during its release. The second section corresponds to feelings of anxiety and guilt which inevitably follow such a powerful emotion, and compresses the musical material into difficult registers at very low dynamics to augment the feeling of unease. The last section is full of musical sighs, and expresses deep regret, as though more than a temper has been lost.
The composition makes use of symmetrical scales and extended wind techniques, including key clicks, air tones and breathy tones. It is in three main sections.
Premiere: April 1993
Gusman Concert Hall