Opus 590

Ancient Airs (2004)

for Flute

  • Beyond the Mountains
  • Forgotten Incantation

Duration: 9.5 min.

Dedication: for Sandra Ragusa

Publisher: Musik Fabrik

Performance materials available from the publisher.

Ancient Airs (2004) for solo flute was written for and is dedicated to flutist Sandra Ragusa. It is in two movements, each with a spirit of “ancient airs” re-imagined in a modern context. The ancestry of the modern flute as a folk instrument is the inspiration for the work’s concept. They should always be played with a lyrical, singing approach.

Beyond the Mountain uses as its basic musical material a simple transformation of a modal melody in D minor. Gradually tones are added borrowed from other modalities. The opening section is slow and lyrical. The middle section is more active—contrasting the D minor chord tones with the added diminished tones of the first section. The final section recalls the material of the opening with a wider transformation.

Forgotten Incantation uses a wider modal language than the first movement. Although still generally slow and song-like, it is more energetic. Energetic gestures interrupt and drive the song narrative forwards.