Three Figures & a Ground
flute, piano
Merion Music
Product Code

3 Figures and a Ground
Composed by Stephen Jaffe
For flute and piano
Published by Merion Music, Inc.
Duration: 17 minutes

written 1987 | facsilmile of composer's manuscript

The Three Figures to which my title refers are three invention-like pieces in quick tempo, each of which explores a single musical idea. These are, for the most part, brilliant and phyiscal in character. The final movement - an Introduction, Ground, and Variations - weaves together strains from the previous three movements. In addition to these borrowings from my own Figures, I should add that while original, my Ground - a pavane in slower time - is a kind of a gloss on a pair of gestures from the Symphony No. 2 of George Rochberg, in honor of whose 70th birthday an earlier, solo piano version of this movement was written. Listeners familar with Rochberg's symphony - or his later music - may enjoy listening for the allusions, both in manner and substance, to that composer's work.

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