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Stellae IV (2019)

for flute, clarinet, tenor saxophone and euphonium

Duration: variable, ca. 5-10”

Commissioned and premiered by:

University of North Dakota New Music Ensemble, Nov, 2019

In 2017, I composed Stele, for two similar instruments. Stele (a memorial column or stone) is an open work that invites its performers to listen carefully and react to each other to create the constantly evolving “pillars” of harmonies suggest by the title. In 2019 I began composing a new series of pieces related to Stele, called stellae (stars), of which Stellae IV is the first. The stellae are constellations of harmonies that could be heard in a performance of Stele. Although the instrumentation and harmonic content are now specified, timing, choices about timbre and careful listening remain open and crucial to the world of the stellae.


The piece is dedicated to Michael Wittgraf and the University of North Dakota New Music Ensemble, who gave the premiere on November 7, 2019.

Gifford: Stellae IV(live recording of the premiere)
00:00 / 07:28
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