From the recording Sometimes Variations
Symphonic Dances Suite #3 (Tomahawk)
The Symphonic Dances Suite #3 contains orchestral arrangements of rock music from Tomahawk, a musical play by James Domine that mixes elements of tragedy and comedy in a realistic treatment of contemporary life in suburban Los Angeles. The selections in the suite are the Prelude, Policeman, Fantasy Woman, Romance, the Stalker, Theme & Variations on “Sometimes” and Finale: Allegro energico. The suite was composed in November and December of 2010 as a vehicle for acclaimed soloist Gary Herbig, whose instrumental skills on the alto sax, baritone sax and flute are juxtaposed against the colors of the orchestral ensemble in a in a concerto-like dialogue that pairs technical virtuosity with improvisational dexterity. The suite is cast in seven movements in keeping with the classical tradition associated with instrumental serenades. It is intended to be entertaining as well as intriguing. The different movements are characterized by varied contrasts in tempo, harmonic language and instrumental color while maintaining a structural continuity that binds them together as a unified whole. The suite is scored for an orchestra consisting of flute, oboe, 2 clarinets, bassoon, 2 horns, 2 trumpets, trombone, timpani, percussion, harp and strings that provide the supporting accompaniment for the solo saxophone and flute parts. The Tomahawk Suite was first performed in concert January 22, 2011 with Gary Herbig, sax and flute soloist with the composer conducting the San Fernando Valley Symphony Orchestra.