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Commissioned by the University of Connecticut Cello Society for "Cello Day," January 25, 1998, Storrs, Connecticut.
These are three musical portraits of the sounds and images associated with trains.
"On Track" is energetic, focusing on the forceful rhythms of a train speeding down the tracks. The two most prominent elements in this movement are the reiterated rhythmic patterns (wheels-on-track) passed from one cello to another, and the more sustained whistle sounds floating above.
"Lonesome Whistle"is a blues-oriented movement in a ballad idiom. The tempo is flexible. And the texture is often solo versus accompaniment during the verse sections, punctuated by refrains in a homophonic, "barbershop" style. The listener might hear reference to Harold Arlen's "Blues in the Night.
"Coming Round" is a set of theme and variations on a well-known American train song which the composer shall leave to the audience to identify! There are six variations which are entitled: I. -- "Ornamentation"; II. -- "Tango"; III. -- "Lament"; IV. -- "Cowboy"; V. -- "Sounds" and VI. -- "Final Reprise."
Notes by the composer