Fire Tiger (1978) for violin and piano was written in New York City while studying with Henry Weinberg. Elizabeth Pizer writes: Fire Tiger for violin and piano was written by the composer at the age of 24 and completed a month after his marriage. The influences of Béla Bartók (the writing for violin, clusters), Stefan Wolpe (the use of pitch octaves in different registers, exploitation of the hexachord), and Claude Debussy (the use of impressionistic color) can be gleaned from a surface that is often dramatic, complex, dense, and active. This early work in Block’s oeuvre already displays a concern for structural unity and adherence to a consistent non-tonal language tempered by a desire to convey emotional intensity within dramatic action among the players, a dynamic that informs the surface of many of Block’s compositions.
The opening to Fire Tiger can be heard below:
Purchase the entire piece here.
The opening pages of a study score (marked up by one of the violinists who performed this work) can be seen below: