For flute, english horn, clarinet, bassoon, horn, trumpet, 2 percussionists (brake drum, 3 crotales, snare drum, 3 tom-toms, vibraphone), piano, violin, viola, cello and doublebass. Precession was composed for the 1987 New Music Los Angeles Festival. The term ‘precession’ is used here both in its sense of a processional, but more especially in its astronomical sense of a cyclical process that recurs according to a slowly changing pattern. For example, the opening of the work involves the juxtaposition of a melodic phrase that is gradually shortened with an accompanimental gesture that increases in length. Other musical devices used are intended to reinforce this sense of independent yet related cycles, among them the application of the principles of change-ringing to aspects of the orchestration.
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