Title: Arabesque (Two Arabesques)

   Date of Composition: 1988

   Instrumentation: Flute, 2 Clarinets, Violin, Viola, Cello, Bass, Piano

   Publisher: American Composers Alliance

   Date of Publication: 1988

   Duration: Approx. 8 minutes


        Of Bondage & Freedom

   Two Arabesques
   Written for the North/South Consonance Ensemble during the winter of
   1988, the Two Arabesques are scored for a mixed ensemble comprising
   flute, two clarinets, piano, violin, viola, cello and double bass.
   Pleskow's recent music combines tonal and atonal elements and is
   distinguished for its use of romantic melodies in a complex
   contrapuntal setting.
   The music of Arabesque I is built around a ritornello ("refrain") that
   has an intricate, multi-layered texture. Similar to a 13th century
   Motet, this texture consists of a cantus-firmus of long notes in the
   piano, a duplum (second voice) characterized by a long-short rhythmic
   pattern in the strings and a triplum (third voice) of rapidly moving
   notes in the clarinets. The piece derives its title from the
   arabesque-like figuration that prevails in the clarinet melodies. The
   notes of the Bb minor scale are the main pitch source of the
   ritornello. A chromatic version of the cantus firmus and a diatonic
   tune (first heard as a flute solo) dominate the pitch content of the
   alternating sections of the rondo.Arabesque ll is a short companion
   piece (a sort of "Nachtanz") to Arabesque I. It is also an extended
   rondo alternating chromatic and diatonic materials.

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Created: August 11, 1998
Last Updated: May 28, 2000