In Praise of Edna
Composed by Catherine McMichael
for Flute Choir
Published by Alry Publications
Includes score and parts
Contrabass Flute (Optional)
*Optional divisi is included in high registers if performed by a flute choir. If performed by a sextet, the upper notes should be played.
I. In Praise of Edna
II. In Praise of Color
III. In Praise of Joy
Program Notes by Catherine McMichael:
Edna Comerchero (1932-2012) is remembered not only as an extraordinary flutist with exquisite sound and deep musicianship, or as a nurturing teacher with cheerful smile but very direct eyes and a rigorous teaching plan, but as an exuberant person who loved life, music, her family, her friends, her flute, her students, her dog, and loved playing Turkey in the Straw as much as the evocative Syrinx by Debussy. Four of Edna's former students, Carol Wincenc, Gary Woodward, Beth Klein and Marty Melicharek shared their memories of working and playing with her, and those stories helped shape this piece written in her honor. In Priase of Edna seeks to express her devotion to the “French style” of flute playing, to her students and their growth as musicians and as people, and to the miracle that is music itself. While writing this piece, my hope was to channel her vibrant personality and create something that Edna would have loved to play, incorporating both the lyric and mystic with the hilarious and fun.
The source of thematic inspiration was taken from the musical letters of Edna's name. Every movement uses the letters E-D-A-C (EDnA Comerchero) as its melodic, harmonic or motivic basis. These notes are the first four of the piece, which is a musical portrait of a great lady. They are the first four harmonic centers in the second movement, which is meant to be played with stylistic emphasis on the many tone colors of the flute. One of Edna's favorite pieces, Syrinx, is quoted in the middle of this movement. The letters are turned topsy-turvy, but still in order for the last movement's cakewalk-style romp, another portrait, this time of the lady who loved life.
Some of the phrases in very high registers are given an option of divisi if performed by flute choir. If performed by sextet, the players should take the upper notes of the divisi. The repeat in the last movement is optional.