for solo violin was made as a wedding gift to Greg and Rachel Barton Pine
The work, which is about five minutes in duration, is marked with this performance indication: "Passionate and rubato; like a jazz improvisation. Accentuate the variety of characters."
Made up of several phrases, each of which ends on a fermata, the works characters include: majestic, playful, elegant, spirited, jazzy, calmly floating, bold, with repose, passionate, resolute, assertive, and graceful. The form is slightly unusual in that the five phrases are of asymmetrical length. They last 20, 30, 40, 110, 120 seconds long, respectively, giving the feeling that the first three phrases are warming up to, and building energy and material for, the longer final two phrases. As if the "improviser" takes the materials a little further "out" (in the jazz sense of that word) with each successive phrase. The piece accumulates - rather than being in one of the standard forms, such as ABA
form, or rondo form.
While the music was very carefully made, and is highly nuanced, and is a "serious" piece of music, it should sound free, spontaneous, jazzy, playful, as if improvised, and alive.
Augusta Read Thomas