Op. 4 – Second Dance in American Rhythm

Flute, Clarinet, Violin, Cello, Bass, Piano and Percussion

Dating back to 1976, this is the earliest music still offered in my catalog. The Second Dance in American Rhythm was originally one of two pieces for piano modeled after the Dances in Bulgarian Rhythm in Bartók's Mikrokosmos. The American rhythms employed here are, of course, jazz rhythms, as well as blues harmonies. The influence of Bartók on the treatment of this material is evident. A more chromatic theme brings to mind the standard new music of the seventies. A climactic boogie-woogie is soon displaced by a thoughtful and quiet coda.

In 1980 I recast this work for chamber ensemble for a reading by Speculum Musicae. I felt the instrumental color gained made a vast improvement over the original piano version. As a result, though, I have only a second dance available, and no first dance.