for solo flute (2001)


Composer: Steven Burke
by Steven Burke Report Abuse

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Perusal Score



10 min.


solo flute

Program Notes

Nervosa was composed for flutist Patti Monson.  Patti is an amazingly talented musician and I was very excited when she asked for a piece.  Her only request was that it be a multi-voiced work for solo instrument, and I knew that also meant engaging her infinite variety of flute techniques.

Patti inspires me!  She can play anything!  During the summer of 2001 for example, I was composing Nervosa at Yaddo (an artist retreat in Saratoga Springs) and was fortunate enough to have Patti visit me to play through some sketches.  I went to the piano and played a short melodic fragment with a four-note chord accompaniment.  I was joking when I asked if she could play this and to my surprise she did it on the spot, with the four-note chord!

The work is something like a set of variations on an ascending scale-like motive (which begins the piece).  Many ideas spring from the initial motive, and some develop into themes that seem to be quite distant from the opening material.  I employ many of Patti’s colorful techniques, among them: pizzicato, tongue stop, multiphonics, sung notes, quarter tones, and whistle tones.

Nervosa is dedicated to Patti Monson.

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