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Suite for Flute and piano, Op. 19

Date of Composition: 2010-14

Duration: 14 1/2 Minutes

I. Prelude
II. Romance
III. Improvisation

IV. Novelette

V. Finale

Program Notes: Composition of the Suite for Flute & Piano, Op. 19 began in 2008 with what has become the fourth movement, Novelette. Originally written for a short film, Horray for Hollywood, I decided to excerpt it, revise it dramatically, and use it as part of a larger formed work for flute and piano. Completed over a five year period, the Suite became a pet project that was worked on, developed and transformed in between other compositional projects. The opening Prelude begins with a pseudo-grandiose piano gesture before the flute sweeps it away with a playful theme backed by a quirky and chromatic accompaniment. After a thematic repeat, development and brief nod to a 1930's popular showtune, a slow and reflective section emerges but is quickly interrupted with an embellishment of the opening theme. The second movement, Romance, opens with a tonal theme in e-flat major and grows in harmonic complexity as the piece progresses. A piu mosso makes way for a dramatic maestoso section, rooted in g major/minor before finding its way back to a garnished arrangement of the opening theme and a ending in a climatic stretto coda. The Improvisation takes a freer approach, leaving behind bar lines and time signatures, to allow for the flutes' expansive range and tone color to emerge amidst a sparse accompaniment. Novelette, which began the Suite's conception, is subtitled 'a slow drag,' which is a reference to early ragtime and dance bands at the turn-of-the-century. A characteristic of the drag is a sense of a delayed downbeat; the Novelette attempts to achieve this through its grace notes and dotted rhythms seemingly dragging to the strong beats. The Finale is very much a bookend to the Prelude; both share the key of A Major and both have this outpouring of ecstatic jubilation. After a sprightly theme goes through several harmonic developments, the music transitions into another very lyrical A major theme that reaches a height of exhilaration that finds its way back to the opening material before a brief coda and conclusive ending. 

Performance History:

-October 22nd, 2010; No. IV – The Mousai Trio; Portland, OR

-December 8th, 2012; No. IV - Classical Revolution – LA Indie Series; Novel Cafe; Los Angeles, California – 2PM

-January 22nd, 2014; No. I, II & IV; Music at MiMoDa – Paper or Plastik Cafe; West Los Angeles, California – 8PM

-August 23rd, 2014; No. I, II & III; Solo Recital; Steinway Gallery; Pasadena, California - 4PM

-October 22nd, 2014; No. I, II, III & IV; Music at MiMoDa – Paper or Plastik Cafe; West Los Angeles, CA – 8PM

-August 11th, 2015; Private Home; Avignon, France - 7PM              

-August 12th, 2015; l’Eglise Saint-Cristophe; Vachères, France - 7PM

George N. Gianopoulos


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