Shenandoah – A Fantasia for Flute and Piano (from “Colloquies for Flute & Orchestra”) by Elliot Weisgarber
Piano score and flute part
“Dedicated to the memory of those who perished in the attacks on the United States of America, Sept.11,2001”
“Shenandoah – A Fantasia” is a gentle fantasy based on the beautiful folk-song whose text is so redolent of the loss and homesickness of America’s westering in the mid-19th century. The work has it’s roots in October of 1948 when the composer was driving from Greendboro, N.C. to Rochester, N.Y. spending an entire day in the imcomparably lovely and tragic valley which had been so fought over in the Civil War. It was brilliant autumn and the fanous, haunting melody would not leave his mind. This nostalgic fantasia, although written 50 years later, is the result of that experience.
“Shanandoah – A Fantasia” was originally composed as the second movement of a larger work for flute & chamber orchestra entitled “Colloquies”. The orchestral work, written for his daughter Karen Suzanne Smithson, was begun in 1996 and finished the following year, receiving its premiere performance on the composer’s 80th birthday, Dec. 5, 1999 in New Westminster, British Columbia. The entire work represents a return to Mr. Weisgarber’s American roots, the first movement being an “Homage to Howard Hanson” on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the late composer’s birth.
Ther piano version here presented was written between the fall of 2000 and spring of 2001. It received its first performance at the National Flute Association’s annual convention in Dallas, Texas on August 18, 2001 with Mary Kay Wilson at the piano. That performance occurred three and a half weeks before the dreadful events of September 11 which took the lives of 5,000 peoples, to whose memory this publication is dedicated.