Suite Siciliano

For Recorder, Viola da gamba, and Harpsichord

Score and three parts

First movement: Dance with Lumière
Second movement: Silver linings
Third movement: Running through the fields

I have known Gritli Kohler-Nyvall for more than a decade now; her Ensemble Pipelife commissioned two of my works, the African Suite No. 4 Vitambo vya moyo and the 16 Variations on an Irish Jig, and recorded both brilliantly for their albums Suit(e)case and Tides and Tunes. So I was more than happy when Gritli asked me last December to contribute a piece to the programme A la siciliana that she planned with her friends and colleagues Carsten Lorenz (harpsichord) and Thomas Goetschel (viola da gamba).  The siciliano is a very old musical form; a music encyclopedia around 1800 noted the following: “Siciliano: in movement and manner of a Sicilian dance. It is played in a flattering manner and a very moderate movement. These pieces of music are mostly set in six-eight-measures. The frequently occurring dotted notes must not be rejected. The country people and shepherds on the Italian island of Sicily used to dance to these tunes.”  There we are: Six-eight-measure, dotted rhythm, soft, dancing gesture. I immediately started to write a Siciliano for the three, and it was so much fun to write for this instrumentation for the very first time that I followed up with a slow, melancholic second movement and a furious-frolicsome finale - all in the siciliano rhythm and meter. This third movement might recall most of my African compositions; I let the form and instrumentation inspire me, mixing baroque with impressionistic harmonies—the whole character is rather fluent and cantabile. You might even hear some of my admiration for Stravinsky's Pulcinella-Suite.  I wish to thank Gritli Kohler-Nyvall, Thomas Goetschel and Carsten Lorenz for the impressive premiere of the Suite Siciliano on March 30, 2019, in the St. Paul Church in Schwenningen, Germany. Being performed by such exceptional musicians is a true privilege.

Here you see recordings of the three movements from the premiere on Youtube:

1. Dance with Lumière

2. Silver Linings

3. Running through the fields

Have fun listening!

number of pages: 
19,90 Euro