Shadows: for piano and orchestra

Score title

Shadows: for piano and orchestra


Ellen Taaffe Zwilich

More about the composer



Program note

Shadows is a work evoking the recollection of remnants of the past - the recalling of ancestral, religious, and cultural roots in the constant migration of people around the world. Although Shadows has something of a program, I see it as truly belonging to the listener, who will respond and understand it in relation to his or her own emotional and experiential background. The work is in three movements, the first of mixed tempo, the second slow and the third fast. It is scored for solo piano with flute, oboe, English horn, clarinet, bass clarinet, bassoon, two French horns, percussion (1 player: Drum Set with piccolo snare drum, tenor drum, tom-tom, kick-drum (muffled), djembe, high and low suspended cymbals, splash cymbal, sizzle cymbal, hi-hat, and crotales), and strings. While the work features the virtuoso pianist, the instruments of the orchestra play a prominent role in the ongoing dialogue with the piano. I was moved by the wide range of co-commissioners and by the unflagging energy of Jeffrey Biegel, to whom it is dedicated.