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… The piece is dedicated to The Beatles and their song A Day in the Life.

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