Clare Shore's Transcendence
for soprano recorder and AATB recorder ensemble

Date of completion: June, 1989; Approximate Duration: 13'

Program Notes

Incorporating a variety of vibratos and shakes, the soloist leads off in a jazz style call and response first movement. When not
answering the leader's calls, the ensemble fills the role of rhythm section by tapping toneholes. The dialogue is broken by a
rhythmic chordal section, and resumes in a "stop-time chorus" which ends the movement with an overlapping unison flourish.

The subdued second movement is a "triple duo": alto I and tenor (duo 1), molto legato; alto II and bass (duo 2), staccato; and
soprano solo (duo 3) molto legato and marcato, two separate "voices" in heated polemic. Opening and closing on a unison G, the
entire movement revolves around the pitch center G. As the movement progresses, the disparity between the solo's two voices
lessens, and duos 1 and 2 reverse their original styles, subsequently "neutralizing" and taking on a staccato nature. In the ensuing
music, duos 1 and 2 resume their original characters; the diversity in style and pitch material disappears as the movement draws to
a close, molto legato.

Early on in the final movement four rhythmic characters emerge: the tenor beats a meccanico pulse; alto II hammers out angular
marcato lines; alto I and bass provide a mysterious backdrop by playing dyads in 1/4 tone vibrato; the soloist presents virtuosic
fluente lines. Following the brief exposition of characters are three short sections in which first the fluente, then meccanico, styles
dominate the musical fabric. After the third of these, tutti marcato, the solo springs forth announcing a brief section in the style of
a fugue. As the "fugue" whirls to a close, all four original rhythmic characters are revisited in speedy alternation. In the same
manner as the three chords which opened the movement, three chords also close the movement, leaving only soprano and tenor on
the final D and C#, echoing the first two pitches of the piece.

Commission Information

Transcendence was commissioned by the Colorado Recorder Festival at Colorado College for the 10th Anniversary of
the Colorado Workshop, the 50th Anniversary of the American Recorder Society, and the 25th Anniversary of the
Colorado Chapter. Clare Shore was in residence at the Colorado Recorder Festival Workshop at Colorado College.

The commission and composer residency was supported, in part, with funds provided by the National Endowment for the
, the Colorado Council on the Arts and Humanities, and the Western States Arts Federation, Meet the Composer, Inc.

Premiere Information

Transcendence was premiered on July 20, 1989, as part of the Colorado College Summer Festival of the Arts, with
Shelley Gruskin, soprano recorder; Marilyn Boenau and Judith Whaley, alto recorders; Kenneth Anderson, tenor
recorder; and Constance Primus, bass recorder.


E.C. Schirmer Music Company, Inc.
(available from (
or call E.C. Schirmer toll-free:1-800-777-1919


Listen to excerpts from Transcendence


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