Lunastella Fuga


For String Orchestra
(may also be played by String Quintet) (2012)





7 min.

Program Notes

Commissioned by the Sinfonietta of Riverdale, Mark Mandarano, Artistic Director

Lunastella Fuga was composed during the dog days of summer, nights spent gazing at the stars and wandering the New Hampshire woodland aglow in the otherworldly light of a blue moon. Large constellations catch the eye first – Orion, Ursa Major, Aquarius – but their constituent triangles and squares are echoed infinitely, a giant fractal, incessantly permeating the firmament. We are drawn to the art of mimicry, and for composers, the fugue is its playground. Fugue is a compositional technique built on a melodic theme, first introduced in a single voice (in this piece, the cellos) and then spiraled throughout the other voices of the ensemble. The theme thrusts forward, transforming as it weaves amidst the voices – augmented, diminished, transposed to other pitches, and so on. The fugue theme seems to be heard everywhere, an astral echo of music in the air.

Oliver Caplan

Award-winning composer Oliver Caplan writes melodies that nourish our souls, offering a voice of hope in an uncertain world. Mr. Caplan’s works have been performed in over 120 performances nationwide. He has been commissioned by the Atlanta Chamber Players, Bella Piano Trio and Bronx Arts Ensemble, among others. Winner of a Special Citation for the American Prize in Orchestral Composition, additional recognitions include Veridian Symphony Competition Wins, Fifth House Ensemble Competition Grand Prize and VCCA fellowships. Recordings of Mr. Caplan’s music include his 2012 debut album Illuminations, 2015 EP Moon Over Appalachia and a track on the Sinfonietta of Riverdale’s 2016 album New World Serenade.

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