Year: 1999

Instrumentation: fl, vn, va, vc

Duration: 11 minutes

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Program Notes

Serenade was composed in memory of my friend Behrooz Khorramian. Behrooz was, at the same time, a rigorous and brilliant chemical scientist – and a dreamer and spiritually insightful person. He was equally at home in a laboratory and exploring the pages of the ancient Persian poets. A conversation with Behrooz was unlike any others in my experience – no unintended meandering from subject to subject – but an intense focus on the subject at hand that never left off until it had been thoroughly and completely covered. Any stream of consciousness interruption was gently but firmly countered – and it is these aspects of his character that Serenade attempts to capture.

The theme introduced at the beginning continues throughout – and is presented in various aspects. The decision to incorporate the flute into the ensemble was made to suggest something of the importance of the flute in Persian culture – and at times blends in with the ensemble and at others becomes rhapsodic in an echo of Persian rhapsodic poetry. The same theme is also presented as a fugue, this section intended to capture something of the scientist in Behrooz – an orderly, logical presentation of an idea.

The single theme returns over and over again from every excursion, but each time in a somewhat more transparent texture – until at the end, like my friend Beyrooz, it seems to disappear into the silence.

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