Dramatic Essay – Mark Williams
Prelude’s program starts off with a bold statement: strong, lush, and slow-moving chords in the orchestra set the stage for Mark Williams’s ‘Dramatic Essay,’ an exciting work with two major themes.
The first theme is the aforementioned slow, choral-sounding idea where the instruments play mostly together. The work then develops into its second theme, a faster-moving rhythm in the lower strings, with voices in the orchestra splitting off to explore new highs & lows over the grounded, repeated eighth-note pattern.
With the two contrasting musical ideas established, ‘Dramatic Essay’ then moves back and forth between its moods, certainly painting the imagery of drama that Williams includes in the work’s title.