Premiere–Cléa Galhano, Vivian Montgomery, St. Paul, MN, 10/98
Recorded by the Galhano-Montgomery Duo on Ten Thousand Lakes SC 114, Songs in the Ground
Part homage, part confection, Rigadoons is a medley of neo-baroque dances. The title—a corruption of the French rigaudon—comes from Marcello, and suggests to me upbeat dances, a dream world, a tea biscuit. “Fancie” ranges from a meditative beginning through several changes of mood to an airborne finish. Compound meter and dotted rhythms characterize the “Furlana.” The “Tambourin” tune turns Rameau’s famed harpsichord ditty on its head. Cléa Galhano suggested that the fourth movement, a swaying and languorous dance, be titled “Balanço,” a Brazilian word meaning “swing.” The Finale begins as a rigaudon, but its countersubject stretches into a whimsical tune just before the recap.
I composed Rigadoons in the summer of 1998, after hearing the Galhano/Montgomery Duo for the first time. The work is dedicated to Cléa Galhano, recorder and Vivian Montgomery, harpsichord, splendid performers who gave the premiere on October 23, 1998 in St. Paul’s Landmark Center, and subsequently performed the work at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall.
The Galhano-Montgomery Duo has recorded Rigadoons on the Ten Thousand Lakes label. More here.
From the Press:
Thomas has supplied such an abundance of invention and sheer compositional high spirits that the listener’s interest never flags. –Tim Broege, American Recorder, March 2004
I can imagine movements such as Furlana and the lively Tambourin becoming firm favourites with concert audiences the world over. –Adam J. Dopad, Recorder Magazine (London), Winter 2001