Programme Notes

Katrina Emtage - Summer Breeze

During the lockdowns of 2020/21 I found myself with more time to explore the possibilities of the bass and contrabass flutes and was looking for a flute quartet that would exploit the range of flutes similar to that of a string quartet. The lyrical qualities of the alto and bass flute are given a chance to shine with some virtuosic interplay from the flute. Simple pentatonic melodic fragments are layered with cross-rhythms to build the texture.

Bass and contrabass flute begin with a rhythmic motif inspired by the dance of light through the leaves. This is commented upon by the flute and alto flute like small puffs of breeze stirring the foliage. Occasionally interrupted by stronger gusts this first section then subsides into a reverie. As if dreaming by a riverside, the bass flute loosely quotes the Irish song My Lagan Love whilst the faster sextuplets in the flute and alto flute suggest the flow of water. After coming to rest on a unison with whistle tones in the flute, reawakening calls between alto and bass flute lead back into a renewal of the rhythmic first section.

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