Memory Embraced for flute ensemble


"[G]reat fun to conduct ... a panoply of delicious textures, chords and contrapuntal workings. Bravo!"

- Harvey Sollberger, following the NFA 2012 Convention

Memory Embraced was commissioned by Claudia Anderson for the 1996 Iowa Flute Festival at Grinnell College in honor of Betty Bang Mather on the occasion of her retirement as Professor of Flute from the University of Iowa. The form of this work was suggested by the many and varied accomplishments of Professor Mather. The Bourée, Motet and Courante utilize a contemporary musical syntax, but borrow structural elements from the traditional Baroque forms for which they are named and reflect Professor Mather’s interests in this area. The fifth movement (Refraction) focuses on some of the avant-garde techniques of the 1960s and 70s, another area pioneered by Professor Mather. The first movement (Bang!) acts as a “musical firecracker” to open the suite; its solo material is revisited and developed in the final movement (Cadenzas).  The character of the solo flute parts in these two outer movements – free, exploring, confident, sometimes wistful,  at other times capricious –  recalls, in part, some of the ways I have heard Professor Mather lovingly and respectfully described to me by some of her former students.

Memory Embraced was conceived for ten C flutes, with two of the players doubling on piccolo. At the premier performance (March 2, 1996, at Grinnell College), the tremolo section of Cadenzas was augmented:  in honor of Professor Mather, any flute player in attendance was invited to join the performance and play along in this section of the piece. This format need not be continued in any future performances of the work.

Memory Embraced was most recently performed 10 August 2012 in Las Vegas, at the National Flute Association’s Annual Convention, Harvey Sollberger, conductor. This performance was part of an event honoring Betty Bang Mather.

flute ensemble
Date completed:
ca. 12:00

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