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Songs in the Ground: Galhano/Montgomery Duo

Songs in the Ground: Galhano/Montgomery Duo
Rigadoons (1998) recorder, harpsichord 15′
Premiere—1998, by Cléa Galhano and Vivian Montgomery, Saint Paul, MN.
Recorded on Ten Thousand Lakes CD SC-114. Available from The Schubert Club

Program Notes

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 those splendid performers.

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