orpha
for string quartet, marimba and vibraphone (1974)

Duration
7 min.

Premiere
14 August 1974
Joseph Passaro and Zita Carno, percussionists / Composers' Conference Ensemble / Efrain Guigui, conductor
Johnson State College
Johnson, VT

Instrumentation
2 vln, vla, vcl, marimba, vibraphone

Dedication
for Roger Daniels

Publisher
Biscardi Music Press No. B48-74-2 (available on request)

Notes
The title, orpha, is short for "Orpha Overlooking Patterson," which referred to a day in the life of my 1958 Chevrolet (my one and only car, dead in 1975) named after Polly Orpha Shaffner, a pianist in Madison, Wisconsin, who was Russell's (my first partner) and my friend. The reference to New Jersey had to do with the percussionist and conductor, Joe Passaro, and The New Jersey Percussion Ensemble, the specific fact that when Russell (who is from Nutley, NJ) was a baby he peed on William Carlos Williams, the famous poet-pediatrician who lived in Patterson, and the reality that one day we did park Orpha while overlooking the landscape of Patterson, New Jersey.

Press
The stage then became populated by Judith Chilnick on the marimba, Beth Ravin on vibraphone, Suzanne Ornstein and S. Kim Brimberry on violin, Linda Sanders on viola and Darilyn Manring on the violoncello and Robert Baker conducting Chester Biscardi's "Orpha". This conglomeration of a string quartet with instruments that could be regarded as refugees from an old Desi Arnez Show made some interesting sounds, but all too often sounded like two different groups rehearsing in adjacent studios.
Lou Cevetillo, Yonkers Herald Statesman (1974)


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