Chautauqua Soliloquy, for flute and piano, was the result of a commission from friend and colleague, David Levy, in celebration of his wife, Kathy, on the occasion of her 9 July 2005 birthday. As a long-time member of the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra (Chautauqua, NY), Kathy Levy has been both a successful flutist and teacher of flute for many years. Previously a member of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, Kathy is currently Principal Flute for the Winston-Salem Piedmont Triad Symphony Orchestra. As with her Beethoven scholar husband, David, the three of us are members of the music faculty of Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, NC.
In one movement, Chautauqua Soliloquy was composed during May 2005 and is approximately five minutes in length. As a way of paying tribute to the yearly summer Chautauqua Institution and Festival, the nineteenth century William Sherwin hymn tune, Chautauqua, and its simple underlying harmony were used as the impetus for the creation of Chautauqua Soliloquy. From the hymn the pitches G (tonic) and D (dominant) are of primary importance in the slow introductory-like opening section of the piece. A singing aria soon appears, with its harmonic foundation made up of the five pitches upon which the harmony of the entire hymn is built : G, D, A, C, B. This section leads to a fast dance section, whose harmony is rooted upon one of two chromatic pitches found in the hymn’s melody, C-sharp (using its enharmonic equivalent, D-flat). A free variant of a portion of the hymn tune, Chautauqua, is heard in this section. After the section builds to its zenith, the slow opening tempo returns and reflects back upon the earlier aria. Following an A-flat major chord, thereby reflecting the hymn tune’s second chromatic pitch, G-sharp (enharmonically spelled as A-flat), Chautauqua Soliloquy comes to a serene conclusion.
Duration : ca. 5 minutes