Lost Waltz

chamber orchestra (1997)

(excerpt) Performed by Orpheus Chamber Orchestra

duration: 12′


program note

Lost Waltz was commissioned by the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra with funds from the Greenwall Foundation and the Heathcote Art Foundation. It is scored for flute (in a prominent role), pairs of oboes, clarinets, bassoons and horns, and strings. Three main themes (one is a fragment of a familiar children’s song) appear and recede in layers, moving in and out of waltz-time. Instruments shadow and echo each other, and sometimes the sound wavers, like an old 78 record or an image seen under water. When the music becomes too dark or tense, the woodwinds occasionally indulge in bits of silliness. Throughout, the flute plays its own introspective music, in its own world – dreamily, or playfully, or passionately – as if no one is looking. Lost Waltz was begun in January, 1996 at the MacDowell Colony and completed in New York City in March, 1997. Orpheus premiered it at Carnegie Hall in November, 1997.