available in two versions
Original: OCTET: flute, clarinet, bassoon, horn, trumpet, trombone, contrabass, percussion
Revised: SEXTET: flute, clarinet, bassoon, violin, viola, cello
Though Igor Stravinsky, Miles Davis and Pablo Picasso were trend setters throughout most of their careers, more than this fact links them. Most innovators make but one earth shattering revolution in a lifetime. These three continued to innovate throughout their lives. They never rested on their accomplishments, but kept developing in new and creative genres. This sets them apart from virtually everyone else.
I have always been moved by each of these three very different artists. When Miles Davis died in 1991 I decided to compose some sort of tribute to these men who have always been connected in my mind. The original version of Homage was begun in late 1992 and finished the following March. It was composed for three woodwinds, three brass, bass and percussion. Living in the vicinity of Paris's Picasso Museum during the summers of 1998 and 1999 brought me once again to my homage. In 1999 I revised the composition with a revamped instrumentation: three woodwinds and three strings.
The first movement, Igor, has a march-like feeling. Miles Davis provides the inspiration for the second movement. It opens with the cellist playing pizzicato bass lines. The Picasso tribute begins with an exciting rhythmic statement that forms the heart of this movement.
My intention was to pay tribute to these monumental artists, not to attempt any sort of musical depiction. As I was well into the composition I realized that in paying my respects to these masters, I was unconsciously creating a series of musical portraits.
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