I. Gusts of Snow
II. Wind and Ice
III. Frost on Roses
IV. Hot Chocolate!
Winter Melodies was commissioned by the Groveland String
Quartet of Minneapolis, Minnesota in 1984. The orchestra version
was written for the San Jose Chamber Orchestra's 2000-2001
Tenth Anniversary season.
Winter Melodies is a programmatic work-each movement
paints a picture of winter or emotions brought on by winter.
In Gusts of Snow, the wind curls tendrils of snow
across a field and around trees. Quartal harmony, sliding
trills, folded scales and dance-like rhythms contribute to
the open and spacious feeling of this movement.
Wind and Ice sounds the way cold feels. The whistling
sound you first hear represents wind and the high artificial
harmonics-the ice. The cold, forlorn melody evokes images
of despair and bitter cold.
The third movement, Frost on Roses, describes lost
love. The picture of a rose, its petals black with the first
frost, represents grief.
When the cold and dark of winter gets to be too much, what
a person needs is a cup of Hot Chocolate! This upbeat
swing jazz piece pays tribute to famous swing tunes in its
theme and variations format. Each variation has a name that
reflects its tribute tune.
Variation 1: Miller Time (String of Pearls; composer, Jerry
Variation 2: Floogee Feet (Flat Foot; Floogee; composers,
Slim Gaillard, Slam Stewart, and Bud Green)
Variation 3: Mood Swings (In the Mood; composer, Joe Garland