Composer: Alvin Singleton
Publisher: European American
Instrumentation: Solo Flute
Commissioned by Sara Vargas-Barritt, 1971
Argoru III (1971) for flute is the third in a series of eight solo works for various instruments, the term “argoru” being a word from the Ghanaian Twi language meaning “to play” (itself a pun). The work is in one short movement. Quicksilver runs and leaps alternate with cantabile moments like light falling through trees in a forest. The work at times seems to sound as if the flutist herself were creating the piece in a moment of inspired improvisation. The composer in fact says his intention was to “create a virtuosic tribute to a great flutist, allowing the piece to sound like her own personal statement.” To play “Argoru” with proper joy and abandon requires a flutist of great virtuosity. Such a player is Sara Vargas-Barritt for whom Mr. Singleton composed “Argoru III” and who premiered it on 24 May 1971 in Sprague Memorial Hall, New Haven, Connecticut, where the two were fellow Yale graduates.