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Kleine Symphonie, Op. 80, No. 1 (2017)

For Crumhorn Quartet

Live Performance:

Joe Clark, soprano crumhorn; Annie Sawamura, alto crumhorn; Cynsy Plant, tenor crumhorn; Jordan Moore, bass crumhorn

Duration: 11'30"

  1. I. Largo - Allegro
  2. II. Andante
  3. III. Minuet. Allegretto
  4. IV. Allegro vivace

Instrumentation:

  • Soprano Crumhorn in C
  • Alto Crumhorn in G
  • Tenor Crumhorn in C
  • Bass Crumhorn in G

Program Notes:

At the beginning of the fall semester of my fifth year, I was browsing Bret Newton's Bandestration site and ran across the section on crumhorns. I knew very little about crumhorns so, my curiosity piqued, I went to the Eastman Instrument Office and checked some out. Along with some friends from the music education department, we formed a crumhorn quartet in short order. I wanted to compose a piece for crumhorns for quite a while, but other events (to wit, student teaching and applying to graduate programs) prevented me for a while. Now that I have time over spring break, my ideas have finally reached fruition.

This is not intended to be a masterwork, or even particularly deep. I wanted to do something that hadn't been done before, and I figured classical symphonies for crumhorn quartet were in rather short supply. I composed one movement per day, approximately an hour each, in order to rapidly acclimate myself to the new idiom and not overthink things too much.

The piece was premiered on May 4, 2017 by the Rentet (Joe Clark, Annie Sawamura, Cynsy Plant, and Jordan Moore) on a recital at the Eastman School of Music.