Instrumentation: clarinet, violin, cello, piano

Written for the SOLI Chamber Ensemble, who premiered the work on May 14, 2018 in San Antonio, Texas.

Much of the musical content of Gray Behind Glass is generated from a sequence of six chord complexes which the piano cycles through in the opening section. Against this, strings and clarinet play slow, intense swells that become increasingly coordinated. A short fast middle section marked by fragmented melodic gestures and sharp piano attacks gives way to an ending whose pensive and even mournful character is created by sinewy lines, string glissandi, a recurring clarinet multiphonic and the piano’s eventual return to the six–chord sequence, now in arpeggiated form in its upper register. The title Gray Behind Glass is taken from a 2002 painting by Gerhard Richter which I see as a kind of visual analog to the character of this piece. Gray Behind Glass was composed for the SOLI Chamber Ensemble.

Gerhard Richter, Grau hinter Glas, 2002, oil on glass