Mirrored Reflections of the Ottawa Valley
for string orchestra

Maya Badian
Maya Badian
Date de composition : 2003
Durée: 00:12:00
Genre: Orchestra / Large Ensembles, String Orchestra


Instrumentation no. 1:
  • 1 x Orchestre à cordes
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Notes de programme :
Quote from, ”Maya Badian, Her Life and Her Music: A Privilege to Soar” by Popovici, Fred, published by Pro Ars Publications, Ottawa, Canada, 2010:
“Maya Badian has the unusual capacity to metamorphose and then synthesize common themes into an elaborate musical creation, uniquely reaching each individual listener. This metamorphosis is evident in a range of her compositions. It is most apparent in Memories in the Ottawa Valley for String Quintet; Music for Archaeus for Instrumental Septet; Cantata Canada for Mixed Chorus and Orchestra; and MultiMusic Canada for the New Millennium Fresco for Orchestra, Chorus and Multimedia - to specify a few. Maya Badian’s magical creativity invokes time, fate, and human progression. She successfully shades the distinction between what exists and what is newly created; between what is intended and what ultimately results; and between what the composer actually synthesized in her composition and what the listener is invited to hear.

MIRRORED REFLECTIONS OF THE OTTAWA VALLEY for String Orchestra encompasses four movements: 1. Distant Images; 2. In Loving Memory; 3. Imaginary Country Dance; 4. Landscape.

Maya Badian explores the notion of themes as a place of aural expression and as a reservoir of human experience, reflecting a concern of the relationship between place, history, and imagination. The music evolves from a fusion of lyrical, evocative, and cheerful aural memories and images. It resonates with the vibrant spiritual force of Romanian folklore and the composer’s ability to use sounds. She crystallizes the structural ambiguities of the work, with ample breadth of materials and techniques, while retaining a cohesive vision of the entirety. Badian expresses an imagined journey, truly evocative of a tangible remembered world.”

Maya Badian states, “Distant Images, the first movement, introduces the cello with a theme that is based on specific eastern European modes, and further develops into a free melisma. This melisma evokes eastern European imaginary folkloric tunes that are enriched by procedures taken from traditional western music. I generally use polyphony, harmonic nuclei, and developments. Frequently, I transform polyphony into heterophony. The theme is freely stated, moving from one instrument to another. However, it does not reach the level of development found in classical European large forms. One of the most remarkable features of these melodic inflections is the use of the augmented second, reminding the listener of Byzantine musical contours. In this way, the Canadian landscape can be contrasted spiritually from landscapes of the opposite side of the world. The enormous geographical, intellectual, and historical distance between the two worlds is a source of the intense affects that I created. In a way, this is a kind of a 'recherche du temps perdu.'

In Loving Memory, the second movement, is of extreme depth and intensity. It arouses from the poignant and loving memories I have for my mother, who had passed away on March 25, 1998, during the time of composition of this quintet. The music derives from a blend of homophony and heterophony that reminds the listener of different melodic gestures from the previous movement. The polyphony here is latent and employs procedures found in Romanian music. The imitations and echoes between voices suggest a world of perpetual melody, with neither a beginning nor an end, featuring a broad reverie and memoir.

Imaginary Country Dance, the third movement is, in contrast, shaped with an actual sense of the soundscape’s concrete dimensions. However, due to the use of the “aksak,” a specific eastern European rhythm, there is the evident feeling of struggle between natural elements and their transpositions into the abstract level of music. Symmetry and asymmetry are both employed in order to transform the image of the dance into a rite, where the musical rhythm emphasizes a sympathetic movement with natural rhythms. The use of cello’s col legno, masterfully suggests a remote little drum in the astonishing Imaginary Country Dance.

Landscape, the fourth and final movement, begins with clear sound elements with some tremolos in the low strings, and then it moves toward the higher registers, adding the use of triangles. These transform, little by little, into glissandos ad libitum, harmonics, and other contemporary string effects. These techniques create, by the end of the movement, only suggestions of sounds. The music then dissolves into pianississimo and almost inaudible nuances, generating two bars of total silence marked fermata. This leaves both the audience and the composer to reflect upon how music can symbolize a metamorphosis in time and place.

“For the composer this composition represents, symbolically, the journey from her past in Romania to her present in Canada.” - Fred Popovici.

Renseignements sur la création :
12 May 2003, International Festival “The Days of New Music, Organ Hall, Kishinev, Republic of Moldova
Kishinev Chamber Orchestra; Oleg Palymski, conductor.


  • Cote:
  • MI 1500 B136mi
  • Genre:
  • Orchestra / Large Ensembles, String Orchestra
  • Date d'acquisition :
  • July 3, 2007
  • Type:
  • Partition, inédite
  • Description physique :
  • Score
    33 pages
    Hauteur: 30 cm
    Largeur: 23 cm
    Nombre total de pages des parties: 30
  • Renseignements supplémentaires :
  • Commissioned by Oleg Palymski
    String orchestra arrangement of the original work for string quintet, “Memories in the Ottawa Valley.”
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