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About Arizona Views II


Arizona Views II is a chamber work for flute, percussion,  and cello. Inspired by Maxfield  Parrish’s painting “Arizona,” the composer  attempts to musically depict the  beautiful grandeur of the fictitious landscape.  The piece, in general, has a Native  American influence through the various  melodies and drumming chants and lasts  15 minutes.

Each of the three movements evokes  a different character, with movement one,  “Chant/Flight,” having a prolonged and  mysterious opening that leads to a more  driving melody in the second section.  Movement two, “Rhapsody,” is labeled  “majestically” and has the main melody  played by each instrument in its own  unique way. Although the cello states the  disjunct melody in the opening, Block  overlaps the players’ thematic statements  to create a whirlwind of sound.  The third movement, “Canyon Echoes,”  is an energized close to the work with  rapid sixteenth ostinatos played by the  marimba and cello and an eighth-note- based melody line played by the flute.

Through the entire work, but especially  in the third movement, the flute  has the primary melodic material. The  percussion and cello contribute to the  atmosphere of “Arizona Views II” to  primarily add color, harmonic support,  and rhythmic interest. The percussionist  is required to play marimba, vibraphone,  crotales, suspended cymbal, tam-tam,  triangle, wood chimes, tom-tom, bongos,  and tenor drum. Various sticks, brushes,  and a bass bow are requested.

Brian  Zator for Percussion Notes Magazine - November 2009