Cuatro Danzas para Flute y Piano
I. Danza Flamenco
II. La Mente
III. Andante para vihuelo de penole
Cuatro Danzas para Flute y Piano (2018) is a four-movement piece with a Spanish flavor and frenzied outer movements. The music anticipated Harbach’s move to the South West with its Spanish influences.
Danza Flamenco begins with a whirling waltz with toccata-like sixteenth notes in the high register of the piano, and then rapidly descends to the lower range. Beginning with a trill, the flute joins with the melody while the piano again whirls down the keyboard but only halfway.
Odd juxtapositions of intervals, swiftly changing modes, sequences, clashes of seconds, interjections of 4/4 time, phrase repetitions but with different accompaniments in the piano, until a descending section ff with trills in the flute and tremolos in the piano introduce the Tango section. The Tango in 2/4 is introduced by the piano with dotted rhythms typical of the tango. The right hand has clusters of chords with seconds and sevenths. Glissandi and trills abound leading to the last section which combines the two styles Flamenco and Tango. The opening material of whirling sixteenth notes returns, and then the piece ends abruptly with a sfz staccato note in both parts.
La Mente (Only in the Mind) is a three-part ABA form. A plaintive, soaring, improvisatory, and decorated solo flute opens the movement and is repeated for seven times often starting on a different beat in the measure. A flourish in the piano introduces the B section with several variations that have rhythms reminiscent of tango rhythms. In the final section, the tango rhythm continues while the flute and right hand play melodic adaptations of the first section.
III. Andante para vihuelo de penole begins with the left hand of the piano resembling the sound of a plectrum-plucked Spanish Renaissance guitar. The first part has a slow-moving lyrical melody in the flute over a walking bass in the left hand. The next section is faster with a swing, a wider range, with the right hand and flute in duets at the octave, thirds, and canons until a ff is reached with demanding chords in the piano and trills in the flute.
IV. Danza-Delirio is a two-part movement with a coda. Each part has its own ostinato bass part, rapid scales, three octave glissandi, fast arpeggios, and dramatic left-hand clusters. The coda deceptively sounds like a recapitulation, but it is whimsically truncated.