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Sonnny Burnette (b. 1952)Commissioned by the Flute Symphony of Lexington, Kristy Kirsh, directordur: ca. 5:00
The fandango is an animated Spanish or Spanish-American courtship dance in triple meter performed by a man and a woman playing castanets. The castanets play a repeating two-measure pattern consisting of a quarter, four sixteenths, quarter, followed by four sixteenths and two quarters. This rhythmic pattern is used consistently throughout Flute Fandango, as is the repeating, descending, minor harmonic pattern characteristic of the fandango.
The castanets open the piece with the traditional rhythmic pattern. First, one piccolo joins in, then another; then the C flutes enter, followed by the alto and bass flutes. The first and second flute present the primary melody, which is continued by the third and fourth flutes. A change of timbre follows as the piccolos are paired with the alto and bass flutes on the melody. Next, the castanets are featured. After a couple short transitional sections, the entire flute choir is featured on a rather challenging unison melodic line. The line is repeated with harmony. As a respite from the intensity of the previous sections, the melodic material becomes more lyrical. The castanets are again prominent as the fandango builds to a canonic section, begun by the piccolos once again. When the lower flutes finally enter, rhythmic augmentation is used to overlay the same melody at a slower tempo. Next, the piccolo and lower flutes are paired on a very active melody, which ultimately leads to the return of the opening theme in a new key. The fandango closes with piccolos trilling and castanets blazing!