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Composed: 2020

Length: 5 mins

Orchestration: 2 flutes, 2 oboes, 2 clarinets, 2 bassoons, 2 horns, 2 trumpets, timpani, percussion (vibraphone, crotales, triangle, small and large cymbals, 2 gongs, tam-tam, tambourine, xylophone, marimba, tubular bells, whip, guiro, snare drums [small, medium, large]), piano, and strings

About this Piece

Unsuk Chin was born in Seoul, studied with Ligeti in Hamburg, and is now resident in Berlin. Winner of the 2004 Grawemeyer Award for her Violin Concerto, her output features both electronic and acoustic scores, demonstrating her acute ear for instrumentation, orchestral color, and rhythmic imagery.  

Originally composed as part of the Beethoven 250 celebrations in 2020, Unsuk Chin’s compact composition subito con forza draws inspiration from the composer’s conversation books, particularly the line: “Dur und Moll. Ich bin ein Gewinner.” (“Major and minor. I am a winner.”) In an interview with writer Thea Derks, Chin explained: “What particularly appeals to me are the enormous contrasts: from volcanic eruptions to extreme serenity.” subito con forza plays with these contrasts, erupting into a first chord with the full force of the orchestra, then subsiding into a hushed string section. Following the U.K. premiere of the piece at the 2021 BBC Proms, The Times described it as  “effective and eerie, with plenty happening in five teeming minutes. Chin’s ear for colour is her greatest weapon.”