Partir ou Rester (2009) – 9′

Partir ou Rester – score


Piccolo / Flute / Oboe / English horn / Bb Clarinet / Bb Bass Clarinet / 2 Bassoons

4 Horns in F / 3 Trumpets in Bb

Percussion: Timpani (f, c, c#, f#) / crotales, marimba, Large bass drum, large tam-tam, suspended cymbal, triangle, crash cymbals, café scene: large varied table setting, (stemware, flatware, silverware, etc…), a large box lined with floor tile to smash china plate into

Piano / Celesta


Mezzo Soprano


For seven weeks during the summer of 1999, a friend and I backpacked through most of Western, and a portion of Eastern, Europe. In Paris we stayed in the Latin Quarter at the Hôtel du Commerce. Every morning at 7:30 a.m., the maid would make her rounds, mopping the floors, going door to door and yelling, “Partir ou Rester?! Staying or Leaving?!” It made no difference to her that we had paid in advance; every morning began with this exchange.

The world has changed dramatically in the last ten years. This work is a tiny bookmark of the past decade and a way of scrap booking those years. It is also a small whisper of the renewed hopes for today and the possibilities of tomorrow.

The first section begins with a pensive theme that evolves into bittersweet nostalgia, eventually giving way to a literal depiction of a night in the Latin Quarter. Like Gershwin’s American in Paris with its taxi horns and hustle and bustle of busy Parisian streets, this representation of a night on the Mouffetard is complete with street café’s and the hushed din of nightlife. The flashback fades into the closing theme, which brings us back into the here and now ending with a coda that puts the past where it belongs.

This composition was commissioned by Jane Brockman and Tom Rider and dedicated to the Gainesville Chamber Orchestra. The work was premiered by the GCO conducted by Evans Haile on April 24, 2009 in Gainesville, Florida.

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