I wrote Harlequinade as a commission from the Albemarle Ensemble. I enjoy writing for wind instruments, and so, when I was asked to write a sextet for piano and winds, a combination of instruments that I have already been thinking about for some time, I eagerly accepted their request.
I titled this work to refer to the old Italian improvised comedy, the commedia dell'arte. A performance of such comedy became known as a "harlequinade" after the principal character in the troop--Harlequin. My work is, thus, lighthearted in character.
The first movement is in a simple ABA'coda form. It opens with running eighth-notes in the piano with rhythmic punctuation in the winds. The tempo slows in the middle section and the music is more lyrical. After the return to the A section in a varied and expanded manner, a brief piano solo ushers in the coda, and the movement ends with a flourish.
The second movement is in the manner of a rondo. The main idea. presented by the piano, is repeated several times with interruptions from the winds.
The horn announces the principal theme of the scherzo movement. A long piano solo begins the central section, an. the final section, introduced by the horn, returns to the opening ideas in varied form.
The last movement is a lively dance, a galop, again with a slower, more lyrical, middle section.
Harlequinade has been recorded by the Albemarle Ensemble on Virginia Arts Recording: VA-95216-CD.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.
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