Commissioned: Livonia Frost Middle School Concert Orchestra, Michael Rais, director
Premiere: Livonia Frost Middle School Concert Orchestra, Michael Rais, director, 2008
Duration: two minutes
Difficulty: young orchestra
Instrumentation: string orchestra
Darkened Theatre was commissioned in 2008, by the Frost Middle School Concert Orchestra, of the Livonia Public School District, Livonia, Michigan. The Frost Middle School Concert Orchestra is under the direction of Michael Rais.
The idea behind this piece is that its scope, in terms of length and drama, is similar to that of a movie trailer. In a short two minutes, the tension of the piece builds up to an exciting pinnacle that is reached quite late. The tension is given very little resolution, leaving the listener on edge, in the very same way that a good movie trailer leaves the audience wanting to see more of the movie.
This piece is an interesting introduction to several playing techniques. The frequent use of successive down bows will teach students to quickly lift and reset their bows. There is also a prominent use of open-string double stops, different articulations, a canon at different rhythmic distances, and even a few meter changes. All notes fall into first position.