Night of the Living Composers (10/28/03)

Three Nocturnes for Flute, Clarinet and Cello - W. L. Altman

In ABA form, Earth and Sky begins with a quasi-"ground" (get it?) bass presented by the cello.  Birdlike gestures are played by the woodwinds.  Altman turn this cliche upside down for the middle section of the movement as roles are reversed.  The opening section returns and eventually floats away.

Lyricism prevails in Water Dance.  Both the Cello and the flute have lovely melodies layered on top of the clarinet ostinato.

On the Town builds into a rhythmic frenzy; the composer implored us to make it "out of control"!  As each instrument is featured throughout the movement, intensity builds.  First the piccolo solo is marked "with abandon".  "Crazed" and "delirious" describe the clarinet solo, while the cello is "diabolical" (although with a demure ending).

W. Lorne Altman is a Canadian composer currently residing in New Brunswick.  He composed this piece in 1999 while working on his Masters Degree at UNL.