ensemble full orchestra (2[I=picc, II=picc].2[II=ca].2[II=bcl].2[II=cbsn]-4.2[I=picctpt].2.1-timp-perc-harp-pno[=cel]-strings)
duration 12 minutes
written spring 2016
commissioned by Boston Symphony Orchestra
premièred November 15, 2016, Symphony Hall, Boston, MA
published by Andres & Sons Bakery
The apparently prosaic title of Everything Happens So Much begins to strike one as a little strange when considered more deeply. Andres borrowed it from a now-defunct Twitter feed called Horse_ebooks, one of many such “Weird Twitter” culture accounts delivering intentionally or unintentionally thought-provoking, but impenetrable, comments. The phrase strongly suggests energy and busy activity, while remaining strangely ambiguous. It’s a little trove of vague possibility, reflecting the potential for interpretation found in Andres’s piece, which he describes as having “a surface tension to it, a kind of restlessness… things happening at different rates and which magically work out contrapuntally.” There are systems of balance and symmetry throughout that maintain overall cohesion, even as the music constantly changes.
The scherzando opening theme in the piccolo is the essential idea of the piece, presenting the intervals and rhythms from which virtually all else grows. It also serves to establish the overall restlessness of mood. Balancing this skipping, falling arpeggio is its rising mirror image five measures later. Sustained pitches and accents in other parts begin to expand harmonic and coloristic dimensions. Gradually a slower, concurrent level of activity is established, and both these levels develop organically. Instrumental colors are in constant flux, which creates much of the sense of continual change. A significant moment is the piano’s emergence as a kind of soloist playing percussive, bright chords in conjunction with broken, hocketed fanfares in the orchestra. This portends a shift to overlapping legato lines throughout the orchestra, a kind of “slow movement,” in which shadows of the falling arpeggio/scale theme continue to appear. Soloistic passages, especially in flute but proliferating throughout the other sections, increase the tension and energy once again to a fortissimo tutti episode. This ends abruptly, leaving a quiet, bare space for the harp’s rising version of the theme. The rest of the orchestra responds in introverted fashion, and the piece ends, or stops, in distracted suspension.
–Robert Kirzinger, Assistant Director of Program Publications of the Boston Symphony Orchestra
recorded live at Symphony Hall, Boston, MA
performers Boston Symphony Orchestra; Andris Nelsons, conductor