VOCALISE FOR SOPRANO & FLUTE

An earlier version of Zaidel-Rudolph’s Vocalise for voice and piano went missing and the present work is an attempt at reconstructing this earlier piece. The composer admits to remembering very little of the original and decided to write a new work based on a few of the original ideas, but this time with flute instead of for piano.

Since the flute and soprano occupy virtually the same register, the opportunity presents itself to interweave these two similar sounding timbres as shadows or echoes with no text to differentiate the frequent blurring of colours and roles. Various vowel sounds are suggested in the vocal part but the singer is free to choose what best suites her voice.

The material revolves around the Lydian mode in tone C, giving rise to two juxtaposed major triads on C and D, as well as the resulting references to the tritone, but with an attempt to avoid clichéd modernist use of the interval. The lower tetrachord of this mode expresses the whole-tone scale with its deliberate lack of tension. Polychordal writing is employed in order to engage with a variety of tonal centres.

Mild acrobatics in the voice are introduced, but since the material is predominantly tonal, the sound world remains accessible. The piece ends with a section with the direction “in simple folk style”. My inspiration for this type of colour and texture came from the simple and very effective folk songs of Luciano Berio. It locates itself on the Dorian mode on the tone E. A codetta ends in the piece with just a taste of the opening material.