Dances for Wind Quintet (2017)
Commissioned by Steve Damon and the A-Natural Concert Band Wind Quintet
IV. Polonaise Variations
Wind Quintet (Flute doubles Piccolo, Clarinet doubles Bass Clarinet)
The Dances are a contemporary nod to the dance suites of the Baroque. Originally, Allemandes, Courantes, Sarabandes, Minuets, and Gigues held the most popularity in these suites, and were sometimes announced with a march-like Prelude of some sort. The selection of styles represented here are a diverse cross-section of movements that would be found in suites of different countries in miniature form. The Entreé sits outside of these traditional forms, serving as a fanfare-like introduction for the set. The Sicilienne sings a solemn and lilting melody in compound meter, featuring brief moments of syncopation for interest. A contrasting Boureé follows – a light dance with an almost comical pretention containing the most chromatic material of the work, and ending in a jeering honk. A Polonaise and several variations on the theme soon take up the stage to round out the set with a much more serious façade.