Commission: Women’s Philharmonic as part of The Fanfares Project
Premiere: The Women's Philharmonic, Apo Hsu, cond, San Francisco, CA, 9/30/00
Duration: 5 minutes
Instrumentation: 2(2nd picc.)222; 4321; timp., 3 perc., hp., strings
James Gleick describes the alarming pace and frenetic life-style of the 21st century in his book, Faster. One of his many examples is the Master Clock, which is overseen by the Directorate of Time, an agency of the United States Military. It constantly consults fifty other atomic clocks to compute time within the millisecond so that computers and digital devices around the world can alter their conventional time to “exact” time.
In SIZZLE, the orchestra could be said to represent this part of 21st-century life – fast-paced, energized, and filled with emphatic and mesmerizing rhythms. The three trombones and one horn, situated apart from the rest of the orchestra, explore a deeper current – a psychic cultural connection with the earth, with the ground of being, with a universal flow, with deep space, with the collective unconscious – yearning for that which is infinite, measureless, vast, spiritual.
SIZZLE was commissioned by The Women’s Philharmonic as part of The Fanfares Project, the largest commission in history of new works by women composers. The Fanfares Project, a series of ten orchestral works, was presented in partnership with the American Composers Orchestra and the Lubbock Symphony. Support for this work was provided by the National endowment for the Arts, the James Irvine foundation, AT&T, the Aaron Copland Fund for Music, the California Arts Council, and hundreds of individuals across the United States. SIZZLE received its world premiere on September 30, 2000, by the Women’s Philharmonic, Apo Hsu conducting.
"It's spirited, this rap-inspired score." - Lesley Valdes, Mercury News
"...direct, unpretentious, but very American...set a bold, extroverted tone starting with grunting belches, the piece splayed over thumping pedal points into a bright, colorful array of gestures with a rhythmic immediacy and sheen.....music from brass instruments in the balcony rained down us. Gabrieli never had it better. Fired by cascading glissandi on glockenspiel and vibes, and with trombones blaring, the piece burned like Valhalla in a series of climaxes and cadences. Brouwer's pieces left us the vivid memory of this orchestra at its eloquent best." - Elinor Armer, San Francisco Conservatory of Music
"Brouwer's musical commentary on the rapid pace of 21st century life is expressed in the disc's final work, Sizzle. Three trombones and a horn ... stand apart in time and space, representing different currents in a fast moving stream." - Fanfare Magazie
"...Sizzle, with more substance than this short form often fosters." - Lawson Taitte, Dallas News