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Global tapestry - Ananta duo
 
Sonata "Muskoka" for clarinet & piano (Lake movement). Ananta Duo: "Global Tapestry" (2018). Purchase.

 
Windermere String Quartet: Inner Landscapes
 
Traces of a Silent Landscape. Windermere String Quartet: "Inner Landscapes" (2016). Purchase.

 

 
Lullaby. Edmonton Symphony Orchestra: "A Concert for New York" (2013). 2014 Western Canadian Music Awards nominee for Classical Recording of the Year. Purchase.

 

Semitragic Waltz

Instrumentation: 2 violins, viola
Duration: 5:00
Year Composed: 2023
Commissioner: Fabiola Amorim, Frank Ho, and Vladimir Rufino
with the generous support of the
Edmonton Arts Council

Dedicated to Fabiola Amorim, Frank Ho, and Vladimir Rufino


Audio


Program Notes

I sketched this trio for cello-less quartet over the course of three productive days, during which the music came to me fluidly. It was clear from the start that I had written a somewhat melancholic waltz, though in the revisions that followed, I introduced enough tweaks to throw off-kilter what began as a rather upright piece. The most notable twist concerns the truncation of some bars from the customary three beats, to two, resulting in odd phrase-lengths of five, eight, and even eleven—odd, at least, for a purported waltz, though I later learned that there exists a lively, albeit lesser-known, tradition of popular waltzes with built-in irregularities. An eight-beat phrase might thus be grouped 3+3+2 and danced, from the leader's perspective, LEFT-right-left, RIGHT-left-right, LEFT-right (and then repeated). My waltz, however, with its unpredictable changes, in which irregular groupings freely comingle with the usual multiples of three (6, 9, 12 beats), would give most couples on the dance floor grief and I wouldn’t blame them for abandoning any effort to keep up. This waltz, after all, is only half sober. Indeed, there is something semitragic about its dogged forward drive in the face of pervasive disequilibrium. I'm grateful to three dear friends—Fabiola Amorim, Frank Ho, and Vladimir Rufino—for commissioning me to write this trio, and to them I dedicate it.

—R.R.


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