Gwyneth Walker

Music for a Summer Evening

for Flute doubling Alto Flute/Piccolo and Piano Trio (2010)

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Download an MP3 file of a performance of this work by Suzanne Carr, flute and the Cascades Trio.

Premiered by flautist Suzanne Carr and the Cascades Trio (Alex Russell, violin; Kara Hunnicutt, cello; Duane Funderburk, Piano), Wenatchee, Washington, June 30, 2010

Music for a Summer Evening is a set of short movements focusing on summer evening themes. The intent is to create musical portraits of moods and creatures associated with this nocturnal setting.

"Touch of Evening" is a gentle, melodic expression. This is the start of evening - a time for calm and relaxation. Then, a "Firefly" comes to life, darting about in the air. Harmonics, high glissandi and abundant staccati characterize the musical language.

Summer evenings are definitely the time for "Romance." And this particular romantic interpretation features very gentle tremoli in the piano (marked "tenderly, as a caress") and a "cantabile" theme first introduced in the alto flute, and later appearing in the cello. At the end, the piano tremoli fade into just the "caress" motion of the hands on the keys.

"A Little Night Blues" vamps through the evening air. This is lazy, blues music, with much camaraderie between the players.

The evening ends with "Shooting Stars." These are portrayed by high glissandi in the strings. The flute switches to piccolo in order to enter the stratosphere. This is light, bright music, often in the upper ranges of the instruments. There is rhythmic energy throughout as the stars streak across the sky on a summer evening.

Notes by the composer