for chamber ensembleflute (doubling alto flute), clarinet, 2 percussion, violin, and cello (1983)
|Commission||Commissioned by Orchestra of Our Time, Inc., Joel Thome, Music Director|
|Premiere||October 23, 1983; Merkin Hall, New York, NY · Orchestra of Our Time · Joel Thome, conductor|
Alvin Singleton’s La Flora is inspired by the figure of the goddess Flora, a character painted in the mysterious 15th century Botticelli masterpiece La Primavera with its mysterious and sexy gathering of Greek goddesses, gods, and nymphs. Opening and growing mysteriously like some strange spring flowering, this 1983 Singleton work begins with 3 soft, quickly-stated tones that hold in a tense augmented chord. It is as if we listeners had walked in on something serious ensuing. The listener is already hooked. The 3-note idea, next scalar, seems to blossom into a 4-note idea with the composer extracting large amounts of suspenseful music from them. Instruments enter soloistically, often in long lyrical confessional-sounding lines that are frequently assaulted by acrid percussion instruments, notably maracas. This drama grows methodically through long tones and well-placed, well-paced repetitions, as the listener waits, still in suspense. Then suddenly at mid-point the work explodes into long passages of tremolandi and repeated figures of aggressive nature. Finally a soft vibraphone solo leads all into a pensive and resigned section closing this brief but effective work.
– Carman Moore, 2014