Richard Lambert Music

Abigail's Jig for flute, bassoon and piano (Op.10 No.2c)

A lively piece for flute, bassoon and piano, combining the atmosphere of an Irish jig and cowboy music!

This lively trio was arranged in August 2009, and given its first performance in St Lawrence Jewry Church, next Guildhall, London EC2 on 7 August that year, by Rachel Smith (flute), Miriam Butler (bassoon) and the composer (piano).

The original Abigail's Jig (Op.10 No.2a) was for flute and piano in 1987, written especially for the composer's daughter.

The piece attempts to capture the atmosphere of an Irish jig, using very straightforward harmony, and folk-like modal melodies. The introduction is intended to be humorous and rather musically misleading.

It starts in F minor, but is immediately contradicted by remote chords to that key, and rhythmically parodying the 'cowboy' music of Aaron Copland. Modal harmony also helps to create the mood of pseudo-folk music.

The main theme starts in the unexpected key of D minor and for 20 bars the three players take turns to present the melody, the piano vamping for the most part. An angular counter-melody is added when the introductory music returns, which leads 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 bassoon and piano of the main theme in augmentation.

After a final reference to the introductory material, the piece finishes with an upward cadential flourish.

Performances

  1. 7 August 2009 at St Lawrence Jewry Church, next Guildhall, London EC2. Rachel Smith (flute), Miriam Butler (bassoon).

Reviews

This is Richard Lambert at his fun best. This is a re-working of a movement from an earlier suite for wind band and I think this is the better version, especially as it features an instrument from the ‘endangered species’ category. I can’t tell you how much fun this piece is, flute and bassoon players of grade 5/6 upward will love it. It’s jaunty and bouncy and makes you want to get up and dance (if you were so inclined!).

Malcolm Crane


Listen

This recording of Abigail's Jig for flute, bassoon and piano was produced using computer software called Sibelius: it is not a live recording.

Purchase

You can view and purchase the score of Abigail's Jig for flute, bassoon and piano from Score Exchange.

If you wish to listen to the piece on that website, select the ‘MP3 file’ link instead of playing the embedded score for better audio quality.

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