A Celtic Tapestry composed by John W.N. Palmer
Written for Flute Choir; piccolo, 4 c flutes, alto flute, bass flute, (optional treble flute in G or E-flat, and contrabass flute)
The inspiration for this current, three movement work is once again the captivating rhythms of the dance, this time drawing upon the richness of the Celtic heritage whose music seems so inextricably indentified with the transverse flute.
The Hop-Jig is a term which appears to be often interchangeable with Slip-Jig. It refers to an Irish dance tune mostly in 9/8 time rather than the more usual 12/8 or 6/8. This movement retains a strong feeling of the jig, but at times offers the unexpected rhythmic surprise of the hemiola. In that the steps are performed high upon the toes, it is essential that the flutists provide a lightness of fingering and articulation throughout this movement.
The Ballad opens with a four bar motive that begins the ongoing canon of this piece. It is important that each time this motive occurs, it is heard well above the other parts, even as they become progressively more florid. After only one interation of an air, the canon, now in stretto, returns to draw the movement to its close.
The duple meter Reel is probably the most well-known of all Scottish and Irish dances, with multiple variants appearing in such places as England, Quebec, and Acadia. Although traditionally the accents of the reel occur on the first and third beats of the bar, Palmer sometimes shifts the emphasis to the second beat.
(The above performance notes are written by the composer in the preface to the score.)
I. Hop-jig (4:30)
II. Ballad (3 minutes)
III. Reel (4:10)