FIREBRAND


Instrumentation:
Flute/piccolo, violin, cello, piano (keyboard and interior strings)

Duration: 9 minutes

Commissioned By:
Commissioned by and dedicated to Music from Angel Fire’s 20th Anniversary Season, with the support of The Bruce E. Howden, Jr. American Composers Project

Premiere:
August 20, 2003 at the Music from Angel Fire Festival, Angel Fire, NM

Available From:
Oxford University Press, distributed through Goodmusic Publishing

Composer's Notes:
Firebrand is for piano, violin, cello, and flute/piccolo. I chose these instruments for their color combination and for their agility. While you might think that by the title of the piece it is a non-stop wildly virtuosic affair, it is in fact quite the opposite. The image from which I built the piece is on the center of the flame outward to the turbulent and flickering edges. I think the art is in suggesting the fiery edge by working from the calm center. That's what fine musicians have mastered -- the ability to work from a place of centered calm in order to display astonishing virtuosity. And that's what Angel Fire is, a place of centered calm out of which astonishing music flows each summer.
 
An event happened while I was composing Firebrand which greatly changed the piece. June Carter Cash, composer of the song Ring of Fire passed away. And so, as a homage to her, the refrain from "Ring of Fire" is woven into the fabric of Firebrand.
 
— Libby Larsen, June 2003

Additional Information:
For: Ida Kavafian and John Giovando -- a pair of firebrands.