What a Day

“What a Day has that element of genius – simplicity, modernity a sense of humour AND immediate connection with an audience! It was a joy to be part of its creation process.”
Boris Brott

What a Day, a four-movement work for string orchestra, outlines the parallels between a day and a life, as if one were the microcosm of the other. The first movement “Joyful Morning”, embodies a busy morning and a child coming to life. The second movement, “Long Day at Work” is characterized by the accumulation of many repeated motifs representing the daily hours spent at work or in school. “Tête-à-tête Evening” is a duet between the solo violin and solo cello accompanied by the orchestra. The melodic dialogue symbolizes a romantic evening or the life shared by a couple. The last movement, “Serene Night”, uses all the melodies from the previous movements. Like a dream at the end of the day or at the end of a life, it offers a retrospective. To better stimulate the auditor’s imagination, lighting effects and small objects are incorporated to the piece, such as an alarm clock and the beginning of the day, a punch clock at work, a pendulum clock at night… As the reverse of the song A Day in The Life by The Beatles (to whom the work is dedicated), What a Day is “a life in a day”.

Instrumentation: string orchestra

Duration: 13 minutes

Suggested program:
– Vivaldi: The Four Seasons
– Piazzolla: The Four Seasons of Buenos Aires
Just like The Four Seasons, What a Day divides a time period into four musical movements.
– Leroy Anderson: The Syncopated Clock, The Typewriter and Sandpaper Ballet

Commissioned by the McGill Chamber Orchestra and their artistic director Boris Brott.

Dedicated to The Beatles.

Premiere: May 9th, 2011, by the McGill Chamber Orchestra and the conductor Boris Brott, at the Pollack Hall, in Montréal.

Performances of What a Day

2015, Nov. 24 | McGill Chamber Orchestra, Boris Brott |Bourgie Hall, Montreal, QC
2015, Nov. 15 | Orchestre de chambre Serenade, Philippe Ménard | Église Catholique de Saint-Lambert, Saint-Lambert, QC
2015, Nov. 14 | Orchestre de chambre Serenade, Philippe Ménard | Chapelle Historique Notre-Dame de Bon-secours, Montreal, QC

2011, July 15 | National Academy Orchestra of Canada, Boris Brott | Glen Gould Studio, Toronto
2011, July 14 | National Academy Orchestra of Canada, Boris Brott | Brott Music festival, Hamilton
2011, May 19 | Ensemble Arkea, Dina Gilbert | Église Notre-Dame-des-Sept-Douleurs, Montreal
2011, May 9 | McGill Chamber Orchestra, Boris Brott | Hall Pollack, Montreal (premiere)