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Art of war: Concerto for piano and orchestra

Sierra, Arlene Elizabeth ORCID: 2010. Art of war: Concerto for piano and orchestra. [Score]. Cecilian Music.

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The piano concerto Art of War is an oppositional drama inspired by Sun Tzu's work of the same name, an ancient book of military strategy. The piece is in two movements of equal length entitled Captive Nation and Strategic Siege. Material from the first movement reappears in the second, suggesting a larger, single ‘battle scenario’ that plays out with two different outcomes. Movement 1: Captive Nation "If a small country does not assess its power and dares to become the enemy of a large country, no matter how firm its defenses be, it will inevitably become a captive nation." This quotation from Sun Tzu gives a sense of the role of the soloist in the first movement. The piano instigates conflict yet becomes subsumed, its gestures provoking the orchestra and leading to fleeting moments of repose before an uncertain conclusion.! Movement 2: Strategic Siege "Complete victory is when the army does not fight, the city is not besieged... but in each case the enemy is overcome by strategy. This is called strategic siege." In this movement the role of soloist is changed from instigator to saboteur. Its gestures chip away at a wall of sound created by the orchestra, subtly manipulating it until the orchestra follows the lead of the piano and succumbs to its persuasive power. Art of War was commissioned by a consortium of American and British donors, in memory of Viola and John Santana, for the BBC National Orchestra of Wales with Huw Watkins, piano.

Item Type: Composition
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Music
Subjects: M Music and Books on Music > M Music
Additional Information: Broadcast by BBC Radio 3 'Hear and Now', October 2010. Recording scheduled in 2013 for Bridge Records CD 'Arlene Sierra, Vol. 2'
Publisher: Cecilian Music
Funders: Private Commission
Last Modified: 18 Oct 2022 13:43

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