Five Lyrics for flute and piano

(2008) 17'

Commissioned by Philadelphia Chamber Music Society
Recorded on Albany Records (Troy 1317)
Published by Tritone-Tenuto Press

Program note

Five Lyrics was commissioned through the Anthony P. Checchia Composers Commissioning Project created with the generous support of William M. Hollis, Jr. and Andrea M. Baldeck, M.D. Specifically, the commission requested a suite for piano and flute written “so that a skilled amateur could play it… and yet be challenging enough that it could be played also by a professional.” The result is a work of five short movements based on haiku-like poems, each focusing on a bird in nature at a particular time of day. The suite creates a dawn to moonlight cycle in which the “dreams” of the last movement consist of memories of the previous movements. No attempt was made to literally reproduce the songs of the birds cited, not even those whose voices are specifically mentioned (swallow, cuckoo). Musical suggestions of the songs of the birds, however, do occasionally occur throughout the suite. The composer is grateful to flutist Edward Schultz for his assistance in editing the flute part, and to Jeffrey Khaner and Charles Abramovic for premiering and recording the work for Albany Records.