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Works for 2-6 Players
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Score and Part(s):
Score and Part(s):
Aphorisms is dedicated to Carleton College on the occasion of its Centennial Celebration and bears the additional dedication In Memoriam: George Edwin Black.
George Edwin Black was a Carleton graduate, summa cum laude, class of '41, and the brother of my wife-to-be when he was killed in action during World War II in France, September 4, 1944. Aphorisms is for flute and string trio, the flute having been chosen specifically since George Black was a fine and enthusiastic player of this instrument.
The work is in five movements---brief, concise statements in varying moods, whence the title Aphorisms. The first movement, introductory in character, employs a highly fragmented texture. A refrain which appears three times---at the beginning, end, and middle---divides the movement into two complementary parts.
The second movement is by way of contrast, light and humourous. Its main 6/8 section, almost buccolic in character, features suave violin and viola dialogues and a stubbornly reiterative flute on a single pitch.
The next movement is particularly singled out as a memorial to George E. Black and is subtitled "Epitaphs." This is followed by a cantilene movement featuring the flute in a lengthy dialogue with the muted violin. The movement is conceived in an arch-like (or pyramid) form at the climax of which the otherwise silent viola and cello join for one strummed chord. Flute and violin use complementary hexachordal (i.c.: 6-note) pitch material throughout, both parts thus combining into 12-tone complexes.
The final movement is a lively florid virtuoso piece. It is essentially a cadenza for flute, accompanied by the three strings, but gradually the accompaniment becomes involved in the flute's cadenza material, participating more and more in its florid runs. Similarly, the two hexachordal pitch collections, which initially are divided between "solo" and "accompaniment," merge gradually and become common to both groups. The movement ends climactically as all four instruments compete with each other in violent cadenza passages in the extreme high register.
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