Jackie's Song


solo cello and chamber ensemble of 5 players
Solo Instrument(s) with Ensemble, Cello and Ensemble
fl(=picc).cl - perc(1): 2 bongo/2 tgl/castanets/chimes/tamb/crot/SD - vln

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Programme Notes
Jackie's Song I composed Jackie's Song as a prelude to my opera Jackie O (1995-97). I imagine Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis (1929-1994) as a solitary and melancholy figure, after the assassination of her first husband John F. Kennedy in Dallas in 1962. My composition is a song without words, for chamber ensemble and solo cello. A mournful cello line is performed by the soloist, who plays in the extreme upper range of the instrument. The solo gradually ascends to a prolonged high C that is suddenly cut short by a riveting snare drum rim-shot. This elegiac theme, comprised of a tritone and a perfect fifth interval, is the compositional core for many of the melodies and harmonies of the composition; later, it became the leitmotif of Jackie in my opera.

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