Duration (in minutes): 7 1/2'39;
Difficulty: Medium (college/community)
Category: small chamber ensembles - 2 to 4 players, string ensemble, string trio
Instruments: any string, cello, harp, violin
Publisher: Subito Music Corporation
Description: The title "Azure Skies" arose from my original intention to have the work’s premiere take place on the Cote d'Azur. The design is seemingly simple. There is a cello melody that appears three times - each of which continues the last appearance, but making use of a higher range. The first continuation includes double stops, while the second one has the violin below the cello. In between there are two interruptions with fragments of melody which try but don't succeed in leading the cello in other directions - in keeping with the lack of energy typical of days spent in the sun. The first of these has the harp taking off from the cello melody and leading the players to faster material, while the second begins faster and gradually slows down, both in tempo and in the speed of the subdivisions of the beat, which move from sixteenth notes to triplets to the eighths which also characterize the cello melody. The harmony remains tonal, but with tension just below the surface calm. The work ends with the other two instruments joining the cello, at which point the three slow down and fade away.