Saturday, October 24, 2015

Incantation and Dance

The two sections of John Barnes Chance’s Incantation and Dance contrast substantially in both length and nature. The Incantation is a short, mournful legato melody. It is full of mystery and expectation, wandering, instability, and without tonality. Beginning on a misterioso flute note, instruments are gradually added, but the general dynamic level remains soft, hushed, and waiting, until the feroce and fortissimo of the accented repeated triplets, casting the final incantation. The Dance also begins quietly, but percussion instruments quickly enter, one by one, building a rhythmic pattern of incredible complexity and drive. The entrance of the brass and winds creates an increase in the rhythmic tension, as the dance grows wilder and more frenzied. After a short variation of material from the Incantation, the beginning of the Dance section is once again represented by the percussion. The piece gathers force as the entire ensemble draws together for a dramatic and exciting conclusion. (Source: Music Program Notes)