LARGE CHAMBER ENSEMBLE - Swing Song Program Note
Swing Song was commissioned by the Boston Symphony Orchestra, James Levine, Music Director, in celebration of Sir James Galway's 70th birthday.
This short piece is inspired by the cavorting of small monkeys through the trees of Bahia. For just a few minutes at dawn and dusk these nimble Brazilian gymnasts launch into a miraculous, graceful dance, swinging by their hands, feet, and tails through the coconut trees. The harmonic and rhythmic material is based on a fusion of Bulgarian and Latin dance forms.
Swing Song is scored for solo flute, piccolo, nine flutes (one doubling piccolo), two alto flutes, two percussion (rain stick, eggshakers, suspended cymbal, and at least two different pair of caxixi), and an unspecified number of young flute players. Special thanks to Anthony Fogg, Elizabeth Rowe, Kelli Kathman, and Leonard Slatkin for helping make the work come to life.
-Derek Bermel 6/09