Flute/piccolo, violin, cello, piano (keyboard and interior strings)
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
Oxford University Press, Cat. No. 9780193868465. Distributed through Goodmusic Publishing.
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
For: Ida Kavafian and John Giovando -- a pair of firebrands.