Moon Soul, for violin and timpani, brings together the moving lyricism of the violin and the stormy energy of the timpani. The two instruments, usually far apart, both physically and expressively, in the symphony orchestra, are here joined in a work that develops organically from the initial theme through a series of expressive moods and emotional atmospheres.
Each instrument takes turns in working as both soloist and accompanist, and each instrument has the opportunity to shine autonomously in a virtuosic solo cadenza, which in the case of the timpani also includes improvisation based on graphic notation.
The work encompasses tonal and atonal passages, as well as quotations from an old Umbrian folk-song I used to hear in my childhood in Italy. The title draws inspiration from the uncanny light of the moon which, especially when full, shines eerily on the garden I can see from the window of my apartment.
Moon Soul was commissioned by James Preiss to celebrate the wedding of violinist Elizabeth Young and timpanist Jeremy Levine.