Grail (2006)

After the painting Grail by Vaclav Vaculovic. Composed for the Louisiana Sinfonietta and premiered under the direction of Dinos Constantinides.


for orchestra (min. 4,3,2,2,1) / 9 min.

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Program Note

One of the high points of Forfest 2005 for me was the direct experience of the large paintings of Vaclav Vaculovic. A director of this annual festival of contemporary art and music with spiritual content, located in picturesque Kromeriz in the Czech Republic, Mr. Vaculovic creates canvases that envelop the viewer in a swirl of color and energy, with just enough clarity to suggest images and movement. I knew right away I would want to treat these works in music, as I have done with similarly overwhelming paintings.

The opportunity came when Dinos Constantinides, a fellow composer I met at Forfest, invited me to compose music for the Louisiana Sinfonietta. Having composed a good deal for string quartet, I eagerly took the challenge to write for string orchestra, treating it at times in effect as a greatly expanded chamber group of twelve. I initially thought I would treat three paintings in a single movement, but the musical impulses evoked by the painting Grail eventually overpowered all others.

I find this painting very moving—initially tranquil, but roiling with energy under the surface; lifting one up but never revealing the source of its light; full of both assurance and yearning. These were the qualities I aimed for in my own Grail.

—Theodore Wiprud

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Upcoming Performances

  1. Reflexions at The College of New Jersey

    February 23 @ 8:00 pm - 9:30 pm
  2. Premiere of Songs for Allegra

    April 10 @ 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm


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