Joelle Wallach

Organal Voices

Year: 1982

Duration (in minutes): 9'39;

Difficulty: Medium (college/community)

Category: mixed instrument ensemble, percussion ensemble, small chamber ensembles - 2 to 4 players, woodwind ensemble

Instruments: any woodwind, bassoon, bells, marimba, percussion, vibraphone, xylophone

Publisher: Joelle Wallach

Publisher website:

Outside URL:

Score PDF: Organal-Voices-.pdf

Description: Organal Voices, composed in 1983, is a work whose rubato and expressive nature demands a profound mutual responsiveness between its players. The piece explores the timbral and psychological similarities and differences between the bassoon and vibraphone in an evocative, lyrical context. Each performer must be able to find his individual voice, explore uniquely subtle colors and feelings during the “quasi cadenza” moments, yet be able to blend gracefully with the other during the tutti times. Organal Voices‘ melodic material is entirely derived from the first four notes of the Dies Irae; and its title reflects the composer’s idea of what it must have been like in the Middle Ages to begin to experience simple polyphonic textures as organum developed after centuries of monophony. Then, too each performer must have discovered an increased awareness of the roles of other voices. Organal Voices, which references the Dies Irae, is a fascinating specter of a piece, ghostly and elusive as a wisp of smoke. Fascinating” -Colin Clarke, Fanfare Magazine Two Recording are available: on CRS Records, Organal Voices (Record #8635) On 4Tay

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