Simple Motion(1993 (revised 2014) for Alto Flute and Piano by Daniel Kessner
Piano score and alto flute part
The central concept behind Simple Motion is that each part of the piece begins with a very simple musical idea, then gradually elaborates upon it. No matter how complex the treatment of the main idea becomes, however, the goal should always be clear to the listener from the simpler versions heard earlier.
The first and last sections, measures 1-24 and 115-161, are particularly inspired by Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach, who has always impressed me for doing so much with so little. His greatest works are transparent in texture, filled with unexpected silences, and exquisite in their subtle turns of phrase and ornamentation. Virtuosity is always subordinate to musical content. As a tribute, the final section of Simple Motion features the melodies and harmonies of the opening section set onto the textural and rhythmic framework of the final movement of C.P.E. Bach’s Sonata IV from the set of six which he wrote to accompany his Essay on the True Are of Playing Keyboard Instruments (1753).
Born in Los Angeles in 1946, Daniel Kessner studied with Henri Lazarof at the University of California, Los Angeles, where he received his Ph.D. with Distinction in 1971. In 1970, he was appointed to the music faculty of California State University, Northridge. He is currently Emeritus Professor of Music, retired in 2006. He remains active as a composer, flutist, and conductor.