For flute and piano
Premiere: 08.13.2015, Seattle, WA by: Douglas DeVries, flute and Yvonne Chen, piano
Commissioned by: Douglas DeVries and Yvonne Chen
Duration: ca. 11 min
Listen to an excerpts of Swallow’s Wings below:
Program Notes: Swallow’s Wings is a fantasy depicting the flight of this highly symbolic bird. The title is drawn from a line in Shakespeare’s King Richard III: “True hope is swift, and flies with swallow’s wings”. The swallow’s longstanding association with hope stems partly from its timely appearance between seasons: it is among the first birds to announce the end of winter and beginning of spring. For sailors, the swallow is a symbol of returning home safely (signaling that land is near). Also, the resemblance between the swallow’s downward flight and the shape of the anchor has symbolized for many people that hope descends from heaven.
Thus, the swallow’s flight is portrayed musically in swift and nimble passages both in the piano and in the flute. Moments of respite and peacefulness alternate with frantic moments that demand agility to navigate. This swift flight path can be traced from the start, arriving securely to its final destination at the end of the piece.