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Joan Tower

Publisher: AMP

A Gift (2007)
Commissioned for Chamber Music Northwest by Paul L. King in honor of the 60th birthday of Mary-Claire King
Associated Music Publishers Inc
Works for 2-6 Players
Sub Category
Mixed Ensemble
Year Composed
20 Minutes
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Programme Note
Joan Tower A Gift (2007)
12 February 2008
Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center
Tara Helen O'Connor, flute and piccolo
David Shifrin, clarinet
Milan Turkovic, bassoon
William Purvis, horn
Anne-Marie McDermott, piano
Society for Ethical Culture, New York, NY

1. With Memories
2. With Song
3. With Feeling
4. To Dance With

Composer Note:
A Gift was commissioned for Chamber Music Northwest by Paul L. King for his sister's birthday. The other consortium members performing A Gift are the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, who premiered the work on February 12, 2008, the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, and Music from Angel Fire.

The work is scored for four winds and piano and is based loosely on a song which floats up to the top of the music now and then. The piece is divided into four movements — "With Memories, "With Song", "With Feeling," and "To Dance With" — and lasts about 20 minutes.

— Joan Tower

Sample Pages

  • 16 OCT 2010
    Goethe-Institut, Boston, MA
    Chameleon Arts Ensemble

    Other Dates:
    17 October - Goethe-Institute, Boston, MA
  • 12 FEB 2008
    A Gift World Premiere
    Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center
    Society for Ethical Culture, New York, NY
    Tara Helen O'Connor, flute; David Shifrin, clarinet; Milan Turkovic, bassoon; William Purvis, horn; Anne-Marie McDermott, piano

    Other Dates:
    13 February - Rose Room, New York, NY

Reviews appealingly complex, lyrical score by Joan Tower, which draws on everything from the Rodgers and Hart song "My Funny Valentine" and Lisztian piano figures to swirling clarinet lines and singing themes for the horn and bassoon.
Allan Kozinn, The New York Times,14/02/2008
The piece was originally conceived as a privately commissioned birthday offering, a modest duo for flute and clarinet based on "My Funny Valentine." The score soon grew into its present enlarged form with the classic Rodgers and Hart song still subliminally hovering in the background and providing subtly worked out "motivic atoms" that pervade each of the four movements: "With Memories," "With Song," "With Feeling," and "To Dance With." It's all done with exquisite taste and a compositional ingenuity that never calls attention to itself as the five instruments seamlessly interweave and occasionally step forward to sing eloquently on their own. A gracious, lovely piece and a gift to all, musicians and audiences alike
Peter G. Davis,,14/02/2008
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