Laws of Motion

For flute, clarinet, viola, cello and piano
Commissioned by the Empyrean Ensemble.
January, 23rd 2005
Mondavi Center for the Arts, University of California in Davis
The Empyrean Ensemble
  • Program Notes

    Scored for flute, clarinet, viola, cello and piano, Laws of Motion features the cello as a protagonist, though it in no way resembles a concerto-like approach to treatment or form. Excepting the brief introduction played by the other four instruments, the cello is nearly always a central figure, and presents all the important musical ideas in the piece, sometimes as a soloist, at other times in the context of a duet with one of the other instruments as a more or less equal partner. Thus shortly after the cello first enters, it joins forces with the viola in a series of espressivo statements. As the music increases in speed, the piano enters into an energetic episode with the cello culminating in the piece’s first climax. Later first the clarinet and then the flute are the cello’s duet partners in a quiet arioso passage. The piece culminates in a passage of dizzyingly complex counterpoint whose energy culminates, and then gradually subsides, giving way to the lyrical, vanishing misterioso music of the liesurely, concluding coda. Laws of Motion was composed with the generous support of the Edward MacDowell Colony and the Centro Studii Liguri per Arte e Lettere.


  • “If you are looking for beautiful 21st century American music, look no further… This album holds four compositions performed by New York New Music Ensemble… Festinger creates mesmerizing textures. Slowly emerging themes, gently woven from snippets of melody, gradually accelerate and collide like swirling eddies of dissonant color. Animated changes in dynamic, tremolos in the strings, and skittering piano figures create tension and drama. Silence your cell phone, find a quiet spot, and listen.”

    – Karen E. Moorman Read Complete Review
  • Ordering Information

    For pricing info and to order this work, please fill out the form below: