flute and piano

Robert Morris

Program Notes

Frondescence was written in 1965, my senior year at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York. Paul Britton, a freshman flutist, wanted me to compose a piece incorporating a number of "effects" he had invented for the flute. I revised the piece in 1970 after coming in contact with Robert Dick, the flute virtuoso, then an undergraduate at Yale. Dick had also been compiling new resources for the flute, which he later published in his book, The Other Flute.

The title (the process, state or period of putting forth leaves) refers to three interrelated aspects of the piece's composition: I wrote it in early spring after a fairly severe Rochester winter; I felt, and still do, it represented an important step in my growth as a composer; the form of the work unfolds slowly, beginning with isolated sounds and gestures, culminating in full-blown textures and forward-moving gestures and phrases.