Blue Minor

flute and string quartet (2001)

1. In the deep bare garden

2. Alone

3. Be Still

4. Listening to the evening

Elizabeth Brown, flute; Curt Macomber and Joanna Jenner, violin; Betty Hauck, viola; Greg Hesselink, cello

from Blue Minor: Chamber Music by Elizabeth Brown Troy 627

duration: 15′


program note
Blue Minor, for flute and string quartet, is dedicated to the memory of my father, Lavern Brown (1922-2000). It was completed in Brooklyn, NY in January 2001. Like much of my music, it is intimate, personal, lyrical, and melancholy. The sound world is very resonant and smooth; ideas emerge and recede, and sometimes completely dissolve and slide away. The instruments echo and shadow each other. Sometimes one instrument (usually the flute) bursts up through the texture, then the music calms itself, and goes on. In the beginning, the flute has a quiet, nervous monologue – as if we can see into the flutist’s thoughts, which are racing and circling. The four movements share much of the same music, and in the last 2 movements, fragments of the hymn ‘Be Still, My Soul’ creep in. The longer, more developed first and last movements frame two brief, quiet inner movements. In the 3rd movement, the violins use wooden mutes, and play high, shiny music. The flute, viola, and cello are very involved in their low music and don’t look up.

Blue Minor was commissioned by the St. Luke’s Chamber Ensemble, who premiered it on June 2, 2001 at the Dia Center for the Arts in NYC.