Ah Paaxo'Ob Hilda Paredes

Ah Paaxo'Ob cover
Duration
18 mins
Composed
2001
Published
2005
Categories

Sinfonietta/Chamber Orchestra

Instrumentation
1 Piccolo, 1 Flute, 1 Alto Flute, 1 Oboe, 1 Cor anglais, 1 B-flat Clarinet (=E-Flat Clarinet), 1 B-flat Clarinet (=Bass Clarinet in B-flat), 1 Bassoon, 1 Horn in F, 1 Trumpet in C, 1 Trombone, 3 Percussion, 1 Glockenspiel, 1 Vibraphone, 1 Piano, 1 Celeste, 1 Harpsichord, 3 Violin, 2 Viola, 2 Violoncello, 1 Double bass

Purchasing options

Score ISMN 57020-811-1 £48.00 Buy now
Parts ISMN 57020-991-0 £77.95 Buy now

ensemble

Programme note

Commissioned by the City of Frankfurt as part of the millenium programme 'Frankfurt am Main 2000' and Ensemble Modern.

Ah Paaxo’ob, composed for Ensemble Modern, is a “concerto for ensemble,” where different instruments
come to the fore in different sections. Each instrument is treated like a character of a play establishing
different kinds of relationship with the others. In this way, different situations are created that conform with
the sequence of events and with the structure of the piece as a whole.

There are five main sections, between an introduction and a closing section that can be thought of as a coda,
and with two transitional passages bridging sections. The opening section is played by the whole ensemble
in a descending sequence built around a pattern of thirteen notes. The number thirteen became quite
important in the structure of the piece.

The horn, strings, piano, and percussion are the main characters to appear after the introduction. Two
playful clarinets and marimba perform the transition to the next section, which is introduced by the flute,
gradually joined by the rest of the ensemble. A new lyrical section is given to the English horn and muted
strings, later joined by the bass clarinet and alto flute. This section is abruptly torn off by the trumpet, which
introduces a very bright and rhythmic section. Contrasting ideas arise, interrupting each other, to be resolved
by the whole ensemble playing quite frantically before we reach another transition. A reference to the
clarinets’ material is introduced by the bassoon and double bass in this passage, after which the last main
section features trombone, timpani, strings, and piano.

While writing this piece, I became acquainted with the ways the Maya used to measured time. This gave me
some ideas to apply to music, which is why in some of the metric and pitch decisions the number thirteen is
quite important.

The Maya had thirteen days and twenty different names for them, and overlapped them in cycles. Hence my
decision to choose a Mayan title for this piece: “Ah Paaxo’ob” means “those who play the music.” (H. P.)

Premiere
Ensemble Modern cond. Stefan Asbury, Mozart Saal, Alte Oper, Frankfurt, 19th May 2001
Performances
  • 12 May 2012 | 8:00pm |

    Miller Theatre, Columbia University School of the Arts, USA

    |

    Ensemble Signal with Irvine Arditti (violin) cond. Brad Lubman

  • 9 Jun 2011 | 7:30pm |

    June in Buffalo Festival, Lippes Concert Hall, Slee Hall, University at Buffalo

    |

    Ensemble Signal

  • 3 Jan 2009 | 7:30pm |

    Auditorio of Torrente

    |

    Jove Orquestra de la Generalitat Valenciana

  • 2 Jan 2009 | 7:30pm |

    Auditorio Nacional de Madrid

    |

    Jove Orquestra de la Generalitat Valenciana

  • 8 Dec 2007 |

    Warner Concert Hall, Oberlin Conservatory of Music

    |

    Oberlin Contemporary Music Ensemble

Recordings