*Two Contemporary Arabesques.* Two duets with eastern influences with florid ornamentation and interesting rhythms.
1. Poco adagio, con rubato
2. Allegro vivace, ritmico
_Part 7 pp._
OMP033 Malcolm Tattersall Arabesques
Arabesques demonstrated how understanding an instrument can help a composer create a gem. Malcolm Tattersall studied recorder and composition at Melbourne University and has remained very active in the Australian recorder community. His two-movement duet for alto and tenor recorders does not ask for what the recorder does not want to give: extremely high or low notes or wide dynamics. In fact, there are no dynamic indications at all. Instead, time is delicately juggled in two different ways that will be familiar to many early music fans. The first movement is a written-out improvisation, like a toccata. The quicker notes should feel ornamental - the composer call them "melismas" - with a gentle rubato throughout. The second movement, "Allegro vivace, ritmico", is quite lively, with five, six, or seven eighth notes per measure. This would be challenging, but not impossible, for an intermediate player. Anyone familiar with emphasising groupings of two or three notes in Medieval or Renaissance music will have no trouble with this. The score is clearly laid out, with one manageable page turn following a rallentando. The introduction expains that Greek and Indian music were the inspiration for Arabesques (meaning "patterns" in a general sense). Tattersall has composed in a mode built up of alternating whole and half steps, so players will have accidentals to face in addition to the complex rhythm. The piece could be very effective in performance by advanced intermediate players.
Patrick O'Malley, The American Recorder, November 2001