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In Memoriam (2002)  -  for Alto Flute, Percussion, Harp and Strings

....The score for In Memoriam is marked 'sempre sostenuto' meaning 'always sustained'. A cushion of slowly contrasted support from the soft purr of a Marimba tremolo with a bowed vibraphone (ossia: glass harmonica) and the rustling of the harp, provide an atmospheric foundation throughout the piece upon which the alto flute (ossia: fl. / alf. / bs. fl.) solo offers its austere line.  Interjections from the strings' chordal lament encapsulate an internal tension.

As the alto flute material becomes more expressive, for emphasis, the solo alto flute line breaks into 2-note chords. These muiltiphonics are made possible only by the invention of the open-holed Kingma System alto flute, made and patented in the Year 2000 by flutemaker Eva Kingma, Netherlands, who purposefully designed the instrument to have a predisposition towards multiphonics.

The piece came into being as a response to grief over the loss of the lives of two friends.

© Andrew March 2003

Adagio Assonnato (2000)  -  for Oboe, Harp and Strings _________________________________________________________________________

I gave this piece an Italian title because of the obviously slow tempo, in-keeping with a tradition found in music of employing Italian nomenclature. However, I believe that the term Adagio was never meant to be interpreted in the so gravely slow way that it has so often been today. In fact, a real Adagio would probably be more like the tempo crotchet = 66 or even more. Nevertheless, I decided to put together two Italian words; Adagio and Assonnato to make the title which I roughly translate as “slowly to lie down, as if to sleep…”.   The more detailed melodies are given to the oboe, which bear a strong Baroque character, being highly ornamented with acciaccaturas (grace notes), mordents, turns, inverted mordents, and inverted turns.  In the score, I have notated the music with the ‘rhythmic microscope’ turned down to the hemi-demisemiquaver (64th-note) and semi-hemidemisemiquaver (128th-note) level.  

Programme note by the composer.