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Garden Varieties is a "pseudo-baroque dance suite" inspired by the keyboard suites of Handel and Bach. The movements presented here all allude to the various, typical inhabitants one might find in a well-tended ornamental garden. The opening movement evokes flowering plants unfolding their buds, providing an enticing setting for the garden's small denizens to explore. In "The Snail (Sarabande)," repeating measures mirror the repeating, self-reflexive structure of the snail's shell. String glissandi, along with other programmatic gestures, suggest a whimsical vision of a snail's slow, single-footed dancing. Unlike The Snail, The Bee is a quick, tireless and, when impeded by others, an irascible worker. "The Bee (Bourée)" invites listeners to embark on a dizzying flight through a variety of landscapes, moods and potential conflicts.
Commissioned by Fred Cohen for the chamber ensemble (CURRENTS)
26 Feb 2000: Performed by CURRENTS and conducted by Fred Cohen, at Washington and Lee University, in Lexington, VA
27 Feb 2000: Performed by CURRENTS and conducted by Fred Cohen, at the University of Richmond, in Richmond, VA
28 Feb 2000: Performed by CURRENTS and conducted by Fred Cohen, at the College of William and Mary, in Willamsburg, VA
09 Apr 2001: Performed by the New Music Ensemble, at the University of Virginia, in Charlottesville, VA
12 Oct 2002: Performed at the Society of Composers Inc., Region III conference, at the Peabody Conservatory of Music at John Hopkins University, in Baltimore, MD
18 Jan 2004: Performed at North/South Consonance, at the Christ & St. Stephens Church, in New York, NY