Gazebo Music

Instrumentation: Flute and cello
Duration: 6:00
Premiere: 1981
Erica Duke and Dorothy Stone, of the E.A.R. Unit
American Dance Festival Composer/Choreographer Workshop, Durham, NC

Program Note:

Gazebo Music, for flute and cello, is a pastoral piece created for a site-specific dance while the composer was participating in the composer/choreographer program at the American Dance Festival in Durham, North Carolina, in 1981. The musicians played in a gazebo while the dancers wended their way through the woods, peeked over the railing of the gazebo, and ended lying on the branches of a huge old magnolia tree. The intertwining of the flute and cello lines creates its own musical choreography. The roles of the instruments are mixed, matched, and inverted. The music, which begins with interlocking flute/cello chords, and lightens into scherzo-like hide-and-seek, ends with a wave-like rocking of interlocked seventh chords. Reviewers have singled out the way the music ‘evokes nymphs, mysteries and pastoral magic’ (Theatre Scene Net), and the way in which ‘…the arch form and flowing music fit perfectly.’ (Richmond Times Dispatch). Gazebo Music was recorded by Da Capo Chamber Players in Dreamtigers, a CD of Shatin’s chamber music on the Innova label that can also be heard on a variety of streaming services. –JS

Press Quotes:
Gazebo Music, Judith Shatin’s flute and cello piece composed for an open-air performance, effectively evokes a nature scene without resorting to blatant pastoral imitiation.”
The Washington Post

“Of the Roxbury Chamber Players recording of Gazebo Music (Opus One 44, LP) Ms. Werrel and Comita take the title at its word, emphasizing the solitary, contemplative aspect of Ms. [Shatin’s] delicate, understated writing.” –Richmond Times-Dispatch

“Judith Shatin’s Gazebo Music (1981) for flute and cello was composed for a dance in which the dancers came through the woods up to the gazebo and then glided away. The arch form and flowing music fit perfectly: soft chords, pastorale, a waltzlike center section, pastorale, soft chords.”–Richmond Times-Dispatch

“The second piece – just six minutes long – was Judith Shatin’s Gazebo Music for flute and cello. Written in 1981 as an American Dance Festival (Durham, North Carolina) site-specific accompaniment for dancers emerging from woods, approaching a gazebo and then retreating for repose in magnolia trees, the piece evokes nymphs, mysteries, and pastoral magic. Long notes and lines – for both instruments – alternate with short interludes of delicate precision; plaintiveness alternates with teasing, and langor with weightlessness. The single concluding high note releases intimacy into mystery.” –Theatre Scene Net

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