Radiance (2003) serenade for oboe (or trumpet) and strings - 7'
-solo ob + string orchestra
-Commissioned by the Richmond Symphony Orchestra
-Premiered 2004 at Carnegie Hall
Radiance was written during my time at the Yaddo Artist Colony in Saratoga, NY, in the summer of 2003. That area of the world is alive with glowing, radiant things in the summertime, and these fireflies, stars, long sunsets, and burning campfires became one with the piece and inspired the title. I wanted to capture the warm evening and all of its incandescent surroundings in this short work for oboe and string orchestra. The piece itself is rather simple, like an extended song or, more appropriately, a nocturne serenade. The oboe opens with its own motive that is then echoed in the strings in a chorale texture. The motive transforms and develops over the course of the work, as the music alternates between chorale writing and a singing aria-like passage with the soloist. The climax is hushed and quiet, like a hazy summer night.
Splendidly played…radiant In new repertoire for the trumpet…the title track ‘Radiance’ shows just how chaste and radiant a piccolo trumpet can be – Gramophone
“Ludwig’s Radiance, a serenade for solo oboe and strings, is tonal in character, nocturnal in mood, and subtly eventful in coloration…The solo oboe introduces long-breathed themes, which are echoed and amplified in string parts that sounded mellow in sonority…[the soloist] ably voiced the yearning, poetic quality of Ludwig’s writing.” –Richmond Times-Dispatch
“[A] most musically sophisticated work was Ludwig’s Radiance for oboe and strings… This most attractive work set the expressive oboe solo against the more discordant strings in an intriguing and attractive manner.” –The Times Argus