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Published on Jan 12, 2015
Christopher Palestrant: "The Town Waltzes" from The Cotillion Suite. Performance by Jaci Wilkinson, cello and Renée McBride, piano. United Church of Chapel Hill concert series. http://www.palestrant.com/portfolio.html
Notes by the composer: "The Town Waltzes" is the first of a group of three dances for contrasting solo instruments and piano written as a "Cotillion Suite." This movement was the first written, as I found it most innately in my blood. Waltzes are inherently sexy. The nineteenth-century heir to the side-by-side dances of Renaissance and Baroque suites, it was performed with shocking intimacy by facing your partner. It was a waltz that my bride and I chose as our first dance at our wedding. True to the dance form, this piece is in (nearly) strict triple meter. It follows the structure of Tchaikovsky’s concert waltzes, featuring several distinct themes grouped into an arch form, allowing the dancers to symbolically circle back to their original tune. As the title suggests, however, the harmony is more reminiscent of the urbane musicals of Stephen Sondheim, especially "A Little Night Music" with its wry refinement. I originally scored the work for viola; this is the newer version for cello.