ELAN! A DANCE TO ALL RISING THINGS FROM THE EARTH  for flute, violin, violoncello, pano, 1 percussion (in 5-performer version), 2 percussion (in 6-performer version), 1983 - 1984

Duration: 13:30

Performance practicality:  Medium difficulty.  All performers play from the main score, with or without a conductor.  Balloons are inflated and squeezed (see score), by flute, violin, and ‘cello a few times in the piece, or several can be set up beforehand with temporary clamps.

A poem by Priscilla McLean accompanies this work:  “the first robin in spring / the tiny scrabblings of /  awakening spiders under crisp leaves…/  bright green furry spirals reaching up up / furled points everywhere thrusting to the Sun /  the raucous riot of new life!”
Written under a National Endowment for the Arts Composer Grant (1979-80) and revised in 1984, Élan! was one of the winning selections for the Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble’s residency at the Charles Ives Center for New Music, CT, in summer 1984. In residence with the ensemble, McLean expanded the percussion to two performers, and wrote the six-performer version for the Premiere (1984). The music employs a variety of strange and exotic “instruments”, including balloons, stew pan lids, and several “soft” preparations for the piano.  The five-performer version was premiered in March, 1985 at Arizona State University by the New Music Ensemble, Glenn Hackbarth, cond. A later known performance was by the Syracuse NY Society for New Music (1989).  MLC Publications.