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The order of the Bagatells presented herein represent the composer's concept of the progression of energy through the six pieces. But by no means should the performer feel constricted by this organization. Indeed, the pieces may be performed in any order, or just a few of them in any order, and the individual pieces might work equally well as recital material. And I would be amiss were I not to give due homage to that great composer, Paul Hindemith, for his writings and teachings on what music should be - Gebrauchsmusik - that has influenced me for most of my compositional life.

I.             Procession makes use of the rhythmic gestures familiar in the British pagentry music of Elgar, Walton, and yes, the music in Monte Pythons "Holy Grail". In performance, one might well imagine being part of a royal procession.

II.            Toccata is a term most often associated with works for keyboard instruments, and in the vernacular is sometimes known as a ''touch" piece. However, over time the term has been expanded to include many instruments and various ensembles. In the 20th Century, the term "perpetual motion" is often associated with the toccata and it is in this vein that the Toccata was written.

Ill.           The Aria is a lyrical work with a well-defined form. There is a climax occurring in the middle of the piece with a slow dying away to a quiet ending.

IV.          Lombard refers to a vernacular use of the term indicating rhythmic motion on the strong beats and static motion on the weak beats. This redistribution of rhythmic motion could be considered to be the anathema of Western music from the Renaissance forward.

V.            The title Signatures refers to the practice of many composers over several centuries to incorporate into their music an anagram of devices. These may take the form of using the alphabetical letters of a name or some other succession of pitches or rhythms.

 

VI.          Frolic is exactly what the name implies. It represents a full out romp in the fields in early spring expressing joy at every moment. It should be played with vigor and abandonment.

 

 

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