Bucolic Dances

2011 version for flute, clarinet, piano, and cello

Artwork by Tiziana DellaRovere

Program Notes

Bucolic Dances is loosely inspired by the chamber works of Béla Bartók, who famously combined rustic folk melodies of his native Hungary with his dazzling contrapuntal technique and virtuosity. All three movements of Bucolic Dances explore the same two simple themes. In this way, although Bucolic Dances seeks to capture the passionate energy of Eastern European folk music, the musical narrative is akin to the organic development that defines the Germanic canon, in which small musical seeds mature and ultimately bear much more elaborate fruits.

Bucolic Dances was first completed in 2009 for the Oregon Bach Festival Composers Symposium and was composed for flute, trumpet, piano, and bass. In 2011, I created a new arrangement of the work for flute, clarinet, piano, and violoncello on the occasion of a masterclass with the legendary composer, John Harbison. The piece was subsequently performed in the “Music on the McKenzie” series in Vida, Oregon.

Tiziana created the painting “Bucolic Dances” for exhibition during a 2010 performance of the work.