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I have created this site in order to provide performers, listeners and composers with a description of a composer's experiences with the creative process. The posts will provide discussions of the inspirations, challenges, and successes of a composer from the inception of the piece to the culmination in performance. I will provide a link to where you can see and hear the works in progress. Comments and questions are always welcomed. They will not posted unless you grant me permission.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Divertissement - I. Intrada for flute and piano

I am writing my next composition for Bret Pimentel of Delta State University in Cleveland, MS, who is a master at doubling on multiple woodwinds.  This composition recycles material that I used in a 2005 composition of the same name, but the instrumentation was for oboe, piano, and percussion.

I decided to do the first movement over for flute and piano. This is a lively movement that uses a lot of syncopation and is a technical showpiece. It is typical of my style as it is tonal, yet the tonalities move freely on one key to another and the harmonies are a combination of of chords in fourths, triads, and mild polytonality. In converting this movement for flute, I transposed the movement up a 4th to get the flute in a brighter register. I took some of the piano part down an octave to keep it out of the flute register. There were several places where the percussion played alone and those places needed to be filled in with flute or piano parts. I also varied some of the articulation and dynamics to make it work better for this instrumental combination.

To see and hear what I have discussed, go to http://www.cooppress.net/divertissement_mixed_woodwinds_blog.html. You will be viewing a transposed score.

As always, your comments are appreciated.

Dr. B

1 comment:

Bret Pimentel said...

Hi Sy,

I'm thrilled about this piece, and grateful that you are willing to take on an unusual project like this one.

You've hit the nail on the head in terms of putting the flute into its "money" register--mostly in the octave from fourth-line D to D above the staff. For what it's worth, I do think that, for as virtuosic as this movement is, you could demand even more range if you wanted it--approaching the second C above the staff and even dipping down below the staff. (I mean that as an observation rather than a request; you might, for example, be keeping the range slightly reined in because there are still several movements to go.)

I think this movement works very well on the flute, and putting the flute first actually solves a performance issue since the flute embouchure is delicate and sometimes isn't as relaxed and flexible immediately after playing a reed instrument.


(Feel free to make my comments public if you like.)