Home > Large mixed ensemble > Swirling Skirmish (flute & harp) [2002]

Swirling Skirmish (flute & harp) [2002]

Year of composition
Difficult (Grades 7+)
9 minutes
Modern classical music
Large mixed ensemble
Instrumental parts
Not available

A jolly romp for flute (or other treble instrument) and harp. It is also available for oboe or recorder, with piano accompaniment or for two accordians. Performance directions as follows:–-

The flute part should be played in strict tempo throughout. The harp part has no time signatures, no bar-lines and only occasional rhythmic values (which are not specific, but merely approximate guides). It is intended that the harpist should follow the flute line (in the harp part), and play as accurately as possible using the rhythms implied by each note?s horizontal position in relation to the flute. Where a note or chord in the harp is directly underneath a note in the flute part, the harpist should aim to play simultaneously with that flute note (however, the majority of the harp?s notes are not sounded together with the flute). The harpist should also try to avoid playing in any specific metre given by the flute (there is a temptation to fill in the gaps with quaver syncopations), unless the spacing of the notes indicates otherwise (i.e. for much of the piece there should be little sense of metre, and the pulse given by the flute (crotchet = 108) should for the most part be upset by the harp). It is suggested as preferable that both performers play from the same part, with the harpist turning the pages. However there is a separate flute part if required (although the unrelenting nature of the piece has meant that the page-turns in the flute part are a little awkward). In either case, the flautist should take great care entirely to ignore the harp throughout regardless (possible exception at G) ? it is the duty of the harp to keep up with the flute.

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