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the Vallejo Symphony, under the direction of David Ramadanoof, is recognized as one of the best regional orchestras in California.

February 24th Concert Program Notes 1996

UUTIQTUT (Notes by Robert Hughes)

Robert Hughes"Uutiqtut" is an Alaskan Inuit word meaning "movement" and is identified with the chase -- equivalent, therefore to the Italian musical term "caccia." The opening measures set the atmosphere -- a cold, icy early morning on the tundra. A strange uneasiness is in the still air as a large herd of animals intuitively senses a stalking predator. A distant horn call gives an almost Sibelius-like cue of the approaching hunt.

A few wisps of fleeting 16th notes gradually gathers together into a forceful impetus which thrusts itself into the full pursuit, the chase, which is the main body of the work.

Finally, the huge beats are brought down in death lunges and throes, until their pathetic last breaths and shrugs expire into the cold, dark Arctic landscape.

"Uutiqtut" was originally composed as an intricate work for two pianos to accompany a climactic scene in the Walt Disney movie Never Cry Wolf. Ultimately the film and scene were edited to a far different shape. I chose to make the original music, complete in itself, into an independent work for very large orchestra, with a particularly elaborate percussion section.

I am grateful to Maestro Ramadanoff and the orchestra for taking on the difficult task of performing one of my most demanding pieces.


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