Sara Kirkland Snider ~ Composer of Music



17′ for picc. (sep. player) 2 fl,2 ob, E.H. (sep. player), 2 clar Bb, bass clar. (sep. player), 2 bsns; contrabsn (sep. player) – 4,2,3,1 – timp. – perc. (4): glock, BD, vib., chimes, tri., sus. cym., sm. tam-tam, lg. tam-tam. – hrp – pno – strings.

LIVE EXCERPT recording by Yale Phiharmonia, March 31, 2005, Maestro Shinik Hahm, Conductor.

World Premiere (first version): March 31, 2005, by the Yale Philharmonia, Maestro Shinik Hahm, Conductor, Woolsey Hall, Yale School of Music, New Haven, CT.

World Premiere (revision): May 13, 2012, by the Princeton Symphony Orchestra, Richardson Hall, Princeton, NJ.

Program Notes:

Disquiet began life as melodic fragments I would hum to myself on the subway while living in New York in the year 2000. In 2004-2005 those fragments evolved into my first piece for orchestra, written while I was a graduate student at Yale. In 2012, I revised and expanded the piece. The creative impetus for this music was, to speak broadly, the agitation of unspoken words, particularly when those words simmer and writhe beneath a self-imposed calm. In addition to its dramatic declarations, the music has moments of tenderness and whimsy; at one point even something of a drinking song makes its presence known. Ultimately, though, the piece is a meditation on the idea that even the most agitated restlessness can engender a certain serenity and gratitude.

The piece is about 14 minutes in one movement.  Disquiet is dedicated with love to my husband, Steven.


“…strictly from the evidence presented here, [Sarah Kirkland Snider] is a potentially significant voice on the American music landscape. The idea of the piece is to explore the inner agitation beneath self-imposed composure — a promising prescription for harmonic layering that’s successfully realized in any number of ways. Disquiet is framed by long-held string chords with pregnant two- and three-note motifs that germinate into events that consistently refuse to touch base with the usual emotional colors. Even a four-note trombone motif that might normally sound foreboding instead conveyed apprehension; it was followed by a shower of potentially ecstatic string pizzicato effects that instead conveyed a nuanced dose of anxiety.”

– David Patrick Stearns, Philadelphia Inquirer, May 15, 2012

“Rather than depicting “disquiet” primarily via its pitch or rhythmic language, creating abundant dissonances or angularity, Snider takes another approach: uneasiness is primarily delineated by the work’s formal design. Thus, one may at first be surprised to hear its often lush harmonies and strong melodic thrust. But as Disquiet unfolds, a labyrinth of disparate gestures and contrasting sections, often supplied in quick succession, imparts the title’s requisite restive sensibility… One hopes that…Snider will get the opportunity to create more works for  orchestra.”

– Christian Carey, Sequenza 21, May 15, 2012

“…lush, with many orchestral colors, and despite its title, [it begins] peacefully with almost imperceptible violins…Ms. Snider offered some unusual combinations of instruments in this piece… [which was] very audience-friendly because of its sonorities and the many different colors in the texture. ”

Princeton Town Topics, May 15, 2012

“…Snider’s emotional immediacy and sense of narrative were arresting…”

The Yale Daily News, April 8, 2005


4 Responses to “Disquiet”

  1. rebecca says:


  2. Roy Kalish says:

    Where can I obtain a recording of this entire piece,cd or mp3?

  3. Edward says:

    Sarah, I find your music very special. The modern sounds and sophistication in it are normally found only in New Music, but yet yours is rich and accessible.
    Yes, it will be wonderful for recordings of your orchestral pieces to be released!

  4. Sarah says:

    Thank you, Edward! I appreciate that very much. S.

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