Lost in the Land of Oz (1993)

Instrumentation: violin, clarinet, and piano

Score Example: Lost in the Land of Oz

Duration: 18:00

Commissioned by Wichita State University for the Wiedemann Trio

Movements I and II premiered on the American Music Week Concert; Wichita State University; November 2, 1993.

Complete work premiered on the Wichita State University Faculty Artist Series; January 24, 1995.

I. Adrift in the Starry Forever
II. The Doppelgänger Polka
III. Getting Back to Kansas

Notes: The title of the work is only a vague reference to The Wizard of Oz, denoting a kind of journey through an alien universe (“Oz”) or a dreamlike state of consciousness. The three movements present various aspects of the journey. Adrift in the Starry Forever suggests an exotic, haunting, and strangely beautiful atmosphere. The Doppelgänger Polka has a kind of “lost in the funhouse” quality to it, juxtaposing the serious nature of the title subject, the “Doppelgänger” or “Shadow,” with the inanity of a polka format; it is flavored by references to famous classical and popular works. Getting Back to Kansas is a journey back to “normalcy” or “home.” Structurally, the first movement falls into a modified ABA form; the second movement takes its structure from “The Beer Barrel Polka,” and the third movement is, more or less, through-composed, culminating in a sort of brief, cheerful minimalism. Whole-tone and octatonic structures are featured in the outer movements; the middle movement is often polytonal, sometimes atonal, and involves elements of improvisation.

“This was the first work I did in Finale. I received a grant to purchase Finale 3.0 and learn to use it. Finale was the Land of Oz.”

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