Autumnal, for flute, clarinet, cello, and piano, was written in 1991 on commission from the flutist James Zellers. It begins quietly, introspectively, with a symmetrical pitch structure that, if left alone, would endlessly repeat itself; a note of dissonance is at last introduced to open up the piece and allow it to go forward. In its consequent adventures the piece begins to dance, at first gracefully, but eventually ecstatically, instruments competing and racing against each other until the clarinet cries out for a halt, not able to continue. The opening material returns, now imbued with meaning not previously evident, and, in a coda, the piece evaporates.
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