Written for two flutes by Ross Edwards
Score form only
Duration: c. 6 minutes
In 1979 I contributed a flute duo to a garland of miniatures by Australian composers in celebration of Peter Sculthorpe's 50th birthday. A revised and expanded version of this duo was incorporated into Ecstatic Dances (1990), which I composed for the flautist Geoffrey Collins.
Ecstatic Dance has special significance for me as the earliest manifestation of my so-called maninya style, the extrovert antithesis of the contemplative music I had been writing in the 1970s. Radiant and insistently melodic to befit its celebratory function, it exists today in many different arrangements, including several for string duo, and as the finale of Chorale and Ecstatic Dance for string quartet, string orchestra and full orchestra. In 2013 I made a special orchestral version for the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra to record in volume 13 of the Hush collection, a series of CDs put out by the Hush Music Foundation, whose purpose is to produce music designed to help children and parents through stressful medical procedures. Sales of the CD also help raise money for Australian Children's Hospitals.
“Ecstatic Dances grew out of a flute duo I contributed to a garland of miniatures celebrating Peter Sculthorpe's 50th birthday in 1979. A flute and clarinet arrangement has been made by Roger Armstrong. I made a detailed revision of both scores in 2013.
The first dance makes use of the mediaeval European polyphonic device known as hocketing to produce a graceful interplay of hypnotic insect sound patterns. After a melodic flowering it dissolves briefly into a remote, nocturnal sequence which functions as an interlude. The second dance, radiant and insistently melodic, is often performed on its own. It exists in many versions, including one for two violins, and in Chorale and Ecstatic Dance for string quartet, string orchestra and full orchestra.” – Ross Edwards