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ANTHONY IANNACCONE
DANCING ON VESUVIUS
for Orchestra (2008), 12 minutes
Score available for sale (496-00065); orchestral parts on rental.
 
 
PROGRAM NOTE BY THE COMPOSER:  
In a letter to his wife, dated March 1, 1933 (Munich), composer Alban Berg wrote the following: "…They've been dancing and stamping all through the night…The whole town and all its inhabitants are quite drowned in carnival din, masks and confetti.  And on top of that the news of the Reichstag fire.  Dancing on a volcano!"

Home of the German Parliament, the Reichstag building, was set on fire on February 27th, 1933.  Hitler used the fire as an excuse to declare a state of emergency and to seize more power.  These were turbulent times with events that would build into cataclysmic consequences for millions of people, who, in 1933, went about their daily lives not understanding the danger signals mounting relentlessly, on and below the surface of their ostensibly civilized society. 

Inspired by Berg's observations, Dancing on Vesuvius evokes a scene of dancing optimism, energy, and nostalgia.  This kinetic surface masks a dark underlying turbulence that swells and ultimately erupts and engulfs the spirited dance. To begin the work, a four-note motive in low strings and winds insinuates itself below vivacious, fast-moving violins. Embedded in the opening music are fragments of a simple nostalgic theme that eventually emerges in various guises: lyric interlude, slow waltz, fast waltz, and finally, a wild and frantic rush over the surging power of Vesuvius.
INSTRUMENTATION:  

Piccolo, 2 Flutes, 2 Oboes, 2 Bb Clarinets, Bass Clarinet, 2 Bassoons
4 Horns, 3 C Trumpets, 3 Trombones, Tuba
Harp
Piano
Timpani
3 Percussion (Marimba, Xylophone, Large Tam-tam, Glockenspiel, Large Bass Drum, Tambourine, Snare Drum, Small Suspended Cymbal, Small Triangle)

COMMISSION AND PREMIERE:

 

Commissioned for and dedicated to the Dearborn Symphony Orchestra, Kypros Markou, conductor.

This work was made possible by a generous grant from Solomon and Edna Margolis.

World premiere November 14, 2008, Kypros Markou conducting the Dearborn Symphony Orchestra at Ford Community Performing Arts Center.

REVIEWS:  

"Long time Eastern Michigan professor Anthony Iannaccone also regularly produces picturesque and accessible music. The highly attractive and – yes, dance-like –Dancing on Vesuvius is filled with colorful orchestration and an infectious buoyancy that I enjoyed a great deal."
 -- Daniel Coombs review in Audiophile Audition, of Navona/Naxos CD

last updated July 18, 2015
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