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Donald WomackRUSHOrchestra (3332 4331 timp 3 prc strings)10:002015
Commissioned by the Hawaii Youth Symphony

"Rush" is 10-minute joyride, my humble attempt to musically capture the ebullient energy of youth. It is fast, rhythmic, electric, hectic, breathless, colorful and flashy. And, above all, humorous and playful.

The title connotes multiple meanings of the word; not just the fast rhythmic dash that is the music, but also the feeling of excitement, of the wind in one’s hair. As in to get a rush out of "Rush".

While there are occasional melodies, there is no real theme in the melodic sense. Instead, the central theme of the piece is rhythmic, the seemingly endless and continual sense of speeding up, a constant rushing to get somewhere, only to — upon arrival — begin another rush. Or to come to a sudden, unexpected stop altogether, and then start again.

The piece is punctuated by four virtuosic solo passages. A quirky bassoon idea and a wailing clarinet line are followed by a cello solo that begins urgently before grinding the entire piece to a halt and spinning a rare, if brief, moment of lyrical beauty. Finally, a frantically fiddling violin solo leads into the climax and final joyous surge to the finish. In between, the instruments of the orchestra trade crisp rhythmic gestures and brightly colored flourishes, floods of notes charging past in a flurry.

"Rush" was commissioned by and is dedicated to the Hawaii Youth Symphony and its director, Henry Miyamura.
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