“We, the Orchestra of the League of Composers, programmed Paul Moravec’s Sempre Diritto! because it is such an ebullient, upbeat burst of energy — and [it is] masterfully composed.” Music Director Louis Karchin enthuses on the eve of the orchestra’s June 1 season finale concert. The concert takes place at Columbia University’s Miller Theatre as the ensemble takes part in the 2016 New York Philharmonic Biennial. Sempre Diritto is a 13-minute work for chamber orchestra and was commissioned by the Jupiter Symphony and music director Jens Nygaard, who premiered the work in 1992 at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall.
Paul Moravec offers some observations about his work. “Sempre Diritto! (Straight Ahead) is the cheerfully confident reply that a visitor to an Italian city often hears when asking for directions. Of course, in many Italian cities — Venice, for instance — destinations are rarely ‘straight ahead’ from any given point. This work may be regarded as a sort of musical itinerary through Venice. The spiral, winding themes suggest to me the natural contours of the streets which contribute so much to the city’s incomparably enchanting effect. Musically, the composition follows a pattern of gradually increasing tempo and energy. It begins rather slowly and then quickens by degrees to a lively presto vivace ending in an intense finale. In contrast to the circular, repeating nature and development of the thematic material, the language and spirit of the piece are, I hope, always direct and ‘straight ahead.’”
More Moravec: On June 4 and 5, the Mill City String Quartet performs the composer’s quartet Vince and Jan: 1945 in St. Paul, MN.