Westerly is inspired by the old English folk song Westron Wynde
and by the Renaissance masses based on that folk song
It is an expanded version of “Celebration” originally written for James Pellerite
and his North American Native flute [“NAF”]
In order to make the piece accessible to a wider range of performers
this version uses a concert flute, with wider range and with just a few of the NAF decorations,
and the violin solo part has also been expanded, resulting in a miniature Double Concerto.
Westerly uses four distinct themes and weaves them into a joyful whole.
The flute soloist introduces himself with the traditional call of the
North American Native flute (a repeated minor third phrase),
which reappears from time to time in the rest of the piece,
and then embarks upon a sort of jig in E flat major
The violin soloist copies these flute phrases but then
introduces the third theme of the work in the related key of C minor,
and the string orchestra comes in.
This third tune is based on the old Westron Wynde melody
but it uses an unusual rhythm (3 3 2) and the excitement
gradually begins to mount.
So the two soloists rhapsodise on the various tunes and permutations
along with the orchestral strings, mixing the various tunes together.
In due course the fourth theme comes in,
and it is quite surprising how it fits in with the
E flat major – C minor interplay,
since it is merely a 12 tone row.
It follows some of the traditions of the 20th Century
atonal composers, but, due to the context in which it is set,
it takes on a warmth seldom found in atonal music.
The sound sample is an electronic preview.
The pdf file contains score and parts