Listen to a MIDI realization:
- Score/set of parts: $5 (for reproduction rights; additional charge for hard copies)
- For flugelhorn and horn (version for 4-valve fluglehorn and horn also available.)
- Difficulty rating (1-5): 5
- View a PDF score excerpt
- Purchase, request full review copy or more information, etc.
When Fred Sienkiewicz, my former colleague at Plymouth State University, acquired a 4-valve flugelhorn, we hit on the idea of my writing a duet for him to play on the new instrument with his wife, the hornist Kristen Sienkiewicz. I began thinking about exploring the similarities and differences—for me, almost like subtle shadings of vocal vowel sounds—between those conical-bore tones from register to register. At that point, I also began obsessing about a keyboard trick for remembering natural string harmonics that I learned from my compositional mentor, Eugene Kurtz. That memory trick, or mnemonic, became the foundational material for the first movement of the piece, and at that point I decided to make the other two movements about things that important people in my life helped me to remember. Charlotte Anne Armstrong was my mother, and every day in the life of my own children reminds me of yet another lesson she taught me about being a parent—I wish I could thank her in person. The second movement is a lullaby for Phoebe Jane Sienkiewicz, and for Fred and Kristen as they remember day by day all the parenting lessons they’ve been taught. Paul Bryan was the long-time director of the Duke Wind Symphony, and is still playing euphonium with that ensemble well into his nineties. He once advised me to “always carry a book, because you never know when you’re going to end up waiting around for something.” Ironically, the first time I met him was when I was walking across campus reading a magazine without looking up, and almost ran him over.
Key words: brass, french horn, contemporary, duet, duo, four-valve, modern, music, chamber, composition