This work was born as a gift to the Seneca Duo, formed by cellist Carrie Cimildoro-Beem and my wife, Jennifer Muñiz at the piano. When I heard the wonderful news that they were both expecting, I decided to compose a work that will not only bring the wonderful qualities they have as a duo and individually as performers, but also as an homage to motherhood by portraying child scenes in each one of the three movements.
The first movement, Child’s Play is a scherzo, featuring striking contrasts in the three sections, as well as many surprises in color, dynamics, harmony, and rhythm. The constant motion of groups of three eighth-notes keeps the music moving forward, only interrupted by slow chords of a “frightening” quality.
The second movement is a lullaby, which I adapted from a song I composed a few years ago. The movement is designed around a music box, represented by the piano. The cello sings a very tender lullaby, but as the melody fades out, the music box slows down, finally stopping.
The last movement pays homage to Bartok’s ‘Mikrokosmos’ pieces. I grew up with them, playing them since I was six. A Romanian dance is superimposed to a round dance in a simple structure. Memories from the first movement return in the middle section, but the dance quality of the movement returns for the vibrant end of this sonata.