All in good time (quintets: keyboard, string, woodwind)
by Michael Whiticker (1991)
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Many composers are motivated by political concerns, and in my case the piece I wrote in 1991, Man, Skin Cancer of the Earth, (with its citing of man's abuse of this planet) was certainly politically motivated. Immediately before that work however I had written All in Good Time, and in its case it was the city in which I was living, at a special time in its history, which brought about the composition. All in Good Time unlike the former work is more a celebration of an occasion than a politically motivated work. It was fortuitous that I happened to be living in West Berlin at the time of the November 9, 1989 opening of 'Der Mauer'. As wall after wall in the eastern part of Europe crumbled it was a time which became locked in the memory as a period of great relief and euphoria. This bloodless revolution demanded an artistic outlet from me.
All in Good Time, which I began late in 1989 and completed in 1991 was an emotional response to a momentous experience in my life. I tried to write positive, even uplifting music, something which mirrored my feelings of this period, and, perhaps it was my consciousness of the difficult road ahead for East Germans, that compelled me to include some more restrained sections, laden with melancholy, to balance the brightness and colour of the bulk of the work.
To this point in the documentation there has been no preparation for a work such as All in Good Time appearing in my output. It was not the break following the composition of Redror which brought about such an abrupt stylistic change as this sort of style had already appeared in works, such as Winamin in 1986. I actually have a passion for composing in a wide range of styles. Some would even consider it a pluralistic attitude to composition. I enjoy nothing more than the thought of composing a multi-media music theatre piece, followed by a sound sculpture for an art gallery and then a string quartet for the concert hall and in each case being extremely conscious of the audience for whom I am composing. Any concern as to my apparent failing to search for my individual voice through working in one style and even in one genre (such as the concert hall), I have always countered by replying that my voice must include this flexibility. I am actually challenged by changing style and genre from one piece to the next. It keeps me much more alive to what is happening in the world about me.
Instrumentation: Bass clarinet, flute, piano, violin, cello.
Duration: 13 min.
- Has as subject/About: Germany
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