Boosey & Hawkes (Hendon Music)
New York State Theater, New York, NY
Peter Martins, choreographer / New York City Ballet
Friandises (French for "bits" or "morsels") was composed on a joint commission from the New York City Ballet and the Juilliard School (on the occasion of its centenary). Although a number of my concert works had been choreographed over the years, this was my first opportunity to compose music intended from the start for physical movement. The result is akin to a baroque French suite in five movements that contains no specific narrative elements.
The initial Intrada is the least "French" in conception, intended as something of a clarion call for the remainder of the piece. The Sicilienne makes use of the dotted rhythm common to this dance, while reference to over-the-bar syncopations make the third movement recognizable as a Passepied. The Sarabande is the most reflective of the movements, and it often either stretches or condenses that dance's traditional 3/2 meter. The finale is a lighthearted Galop meant to end the work with a large dose of razzle-dazzle.
Friandises, completed in Baltimore on September 17, 2005, may also be performed as a concert work. It is scored for two flutes (2nd doubling piccolo), two oboes, two clarinets (2nd doubling bass clarinet), two bassoons, four horns, two trumpets, three trombones, tuba, timpani, percussion (one player), harp, and strings.
— Christopher Rouse
This program note may be reproduced free of charge in concert programs with a credit to the composer.