A lively piece for flute and piano combining the atmosphere of an Irish jig and cowboy music!
- Op.10 No.2a
- 2 minutes, 45 seconds
- For Abby
This lively piece for flute and piano was composed in 1980 to celebrate the birth of Abby, the composer’s daughter, (who later went on to perform it herself in 1998 at Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge, as part of her A-level music recital).
Abigail’s Jig was given its first performance by Simeon Wood on 30 September 1987, at St Christopher School, Letchworth.
The piece attempts to capture the atmosphere of an Irish jig as played by a piper, with a harmonically straightforward piano part, which uses a mixture of 'vamping' and melodic imitation of the flute part.
The introduction is intended to be humorous and rather musically misleading. It starts in F minor, but is immediately contradicted by remote chords, openly parodying the 'cowboy' music of Aaron Copland. Modal harmony helps to create the mood of pseudo-folk music.
The main theme starts in the flute in the unexpected key of D minor and for 20 bars the two instruments take turns to present the melody, the piano vamping for the most part.
An angular (flute) counter-melody is added when the introductory music returns, leading to the second theme, still in D minor, and based largely on arpeggios and scales. After 14 bars, the harmony modulates sequentially and builds up to a key change to E minor, which presents the first theme unexpectedly softly, in keeping with the humour of the piece.
The recap here is contracted before the climax where the flute plays decorative triplets against a strong statement in the lower piano of the main theme in augmentation.
After a final reference to the introductory material, the piece finishes with an upward flourish on the flute.
- 30 September 1987 St Christopher School, Letchworth (Herts, UK), Simeon Wood (flute)
- 10 May 1988 St Christopher School, Letchworth, (Herts, UK), Simeon Wood (flute)
- 8 June 1996 'Carfax' Broadway, Letchworth (Herts, UK), Ayako Hasegawa (flute)
- 2 April 1998 Fitzwilliam College Chapel, Cambridge (UK), Abby Lambert (flute)
- 10 May 2001 St Helen's School Northwood (Middx, UK), Emma Kelsey (flute)
- 24 June 2017 St Peter's Church, Barrowden, Rutland (UK) Rachel Smith (flute)
- Published in 'Music' GCSE Revise Guide: Longman 1990 (1st imp, 1st ed): 1992 (2nd imp; 1st ed): 1993 (2nd imp; 2nd ed): 1994 (2nd imp; 2nd ed): 1995 ( 3rd imp; 2nd ed): 1997 (3rd ed): 2000 (3rd imp; 3rd ed)
- Published by Forton Music (December 2016) in 'Cameos' for flute and piano (FM 617) with Cantilena (Op.11b) and Five Short Pieces (Op.9a)