Karim Al-Zand: Music: Duo for flute and cello
for flute and cello
Duo for flute and cello consists of a three short, contrasting movements. The first, Musette, features scordatura in the cello: a single string is tuned one half step higher than is normal. This string acts as a drone, which rings throughout the movement—a reference to the characteristic sound of the bagpipe after which the movement is named. The Crestfallen Moon is a slow, plaintive song that exploits predominantly the dark, low register of the flute. Its texture is transparent, limited to mostly unadorned two-part writing. The last movement, Snapdragon, is a quick and lively piece, in perpetual skittish motion, punctuated by vigorous cello pizzicatos. Its character is as much reflective of the Snapdragon flower—a colorful perennial with a “mouth” which “snaps” open when squeezed—as of a peculiar parlor game of the same name. “Snapdragon” was a traditional holiday diversion popular from 16th to 19th century, in which “raisins being put into a bowl of brandy, and the candles extinguished, the spirit is set on fire, and the company scramble for the raisins.” (Francis Gosse, 1811).
II. The Crestfallen Moon
March 3, 2012 | D.F. Cook Recital Hall, Memorial University, Newfoundland, Canada