Sunlight Dancing Upon Mountain Snow

Title Sunlight Dancing Upon Mountain Snow
Year 2008
Composer Martin Schreiner
Instrument/s koto, orchestra
Commission Commissioned by Quincy Symphony
First Performance (date, performers, venue) November 2, 2008, Shoko Hikage (as Ryuko Mizutani’s substitute) and Quincy Symphony Orchestra
Contact for Sheets the composer
Contact Info
Notes Sunlight Dancing upon Mountain Snow (Concertino No. 2 for koto & orchestra)This work is in the form of a small concerto in one movement and was written with Ms. Mizutani’s great skill and versatility in mind. After a short introduction, the first of three themes is heard with the full orchestra and characterized by its initial two ascending majestic leaps spanning an octave. Musically, these leaps might suggest spanning the reaches of a mountain peak. After the orchestra’s statement of the first theme, the koto re-enters with an elaboration of this first theme—its plucked strings suggesting a “dancing” sparkle upon the theme—hence, the title for this work. The second theme is intended to suggest a Japanese folk tune and is introduced by the bassoons. The third theme emerges out of a dramatic orchestral moment. Here, the koto assumes the role of accompanist to the orchestra and weaves a very rhythmically active texture beneath the moderately flowing third theme heard in the violins and flute. After an elaborated return of the first two themes, a penultimate moment arrives in the form of a koto cadenza. This moment, where the koto plays alone, highlights some of the unique techniques, colors and sonic textures that this instrument is capable of producing. [Martin Schreiner]