About this work: Program notes:
The four Flute Poems are meant to convey four distinct and
different tonal and atonal images somewhat corresponding to four
forms, or styles of poetry. No. 1, marked lento, is the cubist
(what is often called a shape poem) of the group, being spare and
angular musically with minimalist tendencies. Similar note groups
are performed at varying intensities shaping and delineating
the harmonics of each cluster.
Flute poem No.2 is the lyrical poem of the set, marked cantabile.
As in lyric poetry there is a personal, familiar sense of movement
to the passage.
Only No. 3 is meant to be specifically evocative and this
composition was written to reflect the anonymous 16th century
The silver swan, who living had no note,
when death approached, unlocked her silver throat;
Leaning her breast against the reedy shore,
Thus sang her first and last, and sung no more:
'Farewell, all joys; Oh death, come close mine eyes;
More geese than swans now live, more fools than wise.
The flute becomes the distinct voice of the dying swan. Forte
staccato notes play against the three plaintive swan calls that
begin No. 3.
The No. 4 piece races along in a surrealist form defined by
a dreamlike, freely formed outline marked con anima, then a soft,
dolce passage changes to a forte passage marked con spirito; here
flatterzunge, or flutter-tongue technique is used by the flutist.
2003 Copyright Judith Cody, all rights reserved
publisher: Kikimora Publishing Co.