Anthony Cheung (1982)
- General information
Composition date :
- Commission: Ensemble Modern
- Composition date : 2009
- Instrumental ensemble music [Ensemble instrumental mixte de 10 à 25 instruments]
- flute, oboe, 2 clarinets, bassoon, horn, 2 trumpets, trombone, 2 percussionists, 2 pianos, 2 violins, viola, 2 cellos, double bass
l'Ensemble Modern, direction : Johannes Kalitzke.
Hyperbaton, or anastrophe, meaning “transposition” from the Greek, is a rhetorical device that disrupts the normal grammatical word order for dramatic emphasis. A few examples, modern and ancient:
“shiznit” (tmesis/infixation, a splitting of the word by insertion of another)
“I flee who chases me, and chase who flees me.”
Ovid (chiasmus, crossing of related clauses as ABBA)
“And in the time perhaps it takes an arrowTo strike the bull’s-eye, fly, and leave the bow…”
Dante, Paradiso (hysteron proteron, the latter emphasized before the former)
In the first section of this piece, short fragmented arguments that form a coherent statement get reordered, manipulated, interrupted, and repeated, just as we do with spoken and written language so as to make a rhetorical gesture. Very clear, open intervals are violently challenged by dense, microtonal chordal fragments that add up to form progressions around them. Repetitions of ideas occur irregularly, while fixed rhythms contest with one another to gain prominence. Chopped time morphs into smooth time and vice versa. Out of the vigorous collision of these materials, a new section emerges, with lyrical strands that continue over an ever-present series of chords. And finally, an unabashedly grand and expressive melody unfolds, supported by an expansive, broadening progression of chords, which gives way to transparency and lightness.Hyperbaton is dedicated to the musicians of the Ensemble Modern, with much gratitude.
Anthony Cheung, Avril 2009.