Suite Siciliano

For Recorder, Piano, and Violoncello.

Score and Three Parts

1. Dance with Lumière
2. Silver Linings
3. 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. 

Two years later, my longtime musical companion, Ebba-Maria Künning-Zejl, asked me to write a version for recorder, piano, and violoncello for Adriano da Silva Trarbach, her and me, which I was happy to do. Our recording is now available on YouTube. I thank Adriano and Ebba for recording my piece with me - it was my greatest pleasure!

number of pages: 
19,90 Euro