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Chimera No. 3 for String Orchestra and Percussion by Doug Wallace (Hard Copy, Score and Parts)
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Chimera No. 3 for String Orchestra and Percussion (2019)
The Chimera – The Lion – The Goat – The Serpent – The Chimera Returns
Originally conceived as a percussion trio in 2008, and arranged for mixed instrument chamber ensemble in 2010, Chimera No. 3 has been reworked and expanded into a dynamic work for string orchestra and percussion. An exciting piece to perform, players are taken through a wild ride of changing time signatures, metric modulations, lyrical passages, and extended techniques. All the while maintaining a jazz, pop, and latin influenced groove.
Chimera No. 3 was inspired by a fire-breathing creature from Greek mythology, often depicted as part lion, part goat, and part serpent. In this programmatic work, the Chimera first presents itself as all of its parts, later transforming seamlessly into the three individual animals. The middle sections in the piece are a depiction of the different characteristics each animal possesses. At the conclusion of the work, the Chimera theme returns, and the beast is back to its original form.
Reminiscent of the unique, shape shifting, hybrid creature, the changing time signatures and metric modulations in Chimera No. 3 keep the players and audience on their toes. At the same time, the use of extended techniques by the strings help to create a musical palette that evokes the characteristics of each individual animal. The theme of the work is definitely inspired by the mythological Chimera, but the essence of the piece also encapsulates an alternative definition of a chimera – something that is illusive, imaginative, implausible, or dazzling.
Chimera No. 3 was composed in 2019 for The American Youth String Ensemble and its director Laura Cahn. The work is dedicated to all of my amazing students who have played excerpts and elements of this piece for over 10 years. You have helped the musical ideas live on, and this composition would never have been possible without you.