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Grand Bamboula

Strings (at least 6-5-4-4-2)
6/12/1971 - 8/8/1971
Written for Howard Shanet
Premiered by James Dixon, University of Iowa Orchestra, for the dedication of Hancher Auditorium

My Grand Bamboula is a product of the summer of 1971, written at the request of the conductor Howard Shanet.  Its brevity and charactor propose it as an occasional piece, whos function is more to adorn than to be adorned, and even its way of composition conforms.  The Bamboula continues my long concern with an expanded twelvetone world, in which pitch centricity extended over long arches of time plays a fundamental role, as it did with tonal music.  Beyond this, I prefer to let the easy recurrances in the piece itself speak on their own behalf. 

After so many fruitful years of association with the University of Iowa, and its superb orchestra, it gives me great satisfaction that on this dedicatory occasion, my work should receive its first performance. It markes the third occasion on which James Dixon has presented premieres of my work; my Piano Concerto, and purely orchestral Contrafactum -- both dedicated to Mr. Dixon -- were the Bamboula's predecessors. On this occasion, then -- though it may stretch the prerogatives of a program note -- I wish to salute the profound musicianship of James Dixon, and to celebrate the excellence it has led to in his orchestra.

-Charles Wuorinen