Druckman — Come Round

Jacob Druckman — Come Round

violin, cello, flute, clarinet, piano, percussion

Come Round was co-commissioned by the New York New Music Ensemble and three performing arts festivals and premiered by that group in August, 1992. The title refers to the circular nature of the musical material, and its use of canonic forms, like the familiar sung round song.

In form it is a set of six large variations. Druckman conceived the music of these six sections as being variations on each other, rather than being variations on a principal theme. All six sections are equal. There is a short contrasting passage in the nature of a ritornello before and after the fourth variation. The piece begins with the simplest material, a solo alto flute playing notes a half-step apart. Alternating patterns of this nature (for instance, pairs of chords) grow from this idea. Despite the use of contrapuntal techniques, the texture of the piece focuses on the ensemble as a unified group rather than on many separate complex stands of sound. The form of the work is made clear to the audience by the use of clear harmonies at important structural points, lending a tonal organization to it. Thus the language is a form of extended tonality, giving the audience an anchor making it less difficult to comprehend.

-Joseph Stephenson

-Annotated by Noah Rosen