The Bloomberg Codex

Commissioned by Dan Bloomberg

$15.00
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History and Performance Notes

cover artMr. Bloomberg is a recorder player living in the San Francisco Bay area of California. He approached me to write a piece in the same swinging style as my Jazzy Prelude & Fugue (Moeck Verlag, ZfS803) and “Peanut Butter” Prelude & Fugue (Glen Shannon Music, SMM106), applying modern affect to old-world structure.The Aria and Fugue movements must be played with swing — without it the musicality is lost!

Inspired by the cantatas of Bach and Telemann, the Aria features a repeating ostinato figure in unison, supporting alternating solos by the three upper voices. The Bass steps forward only for a moment before a partial da capo and short coda. Syncopated quarter-notes at the start of any bar should bounce off the downbeat and be played full value, enhancing the imagery of an excited four-way conversation full of snappy banter and repartee.

A Recitative in the Baroque style starring the Soprano follows, with the lower voices in the role of continuo. The melody lends itself to all sorts of possible fun lyrics, the opening phrase of which might start, “Dan Bloomberg is a fan of the recorder.” The Recitative should be played somewhere between straight and with light swing, as if it were spoken. Tasteful jazzy ornaments are encouraged. Counting and tempo can be elastic; for example, the first chord sets the mood of the movement but is not necessarily worth the full three beats notated before the Soprano entrance. The dissonant final chord of the “afterword” hangs in the air unresolved until the Fugue releases the tension.

The Fugue is a whirlwind banquet of ensemble interaction, with small asides and private conversations scattered throughout. Articulation of triplets should be legato “toodle-E” or “doodle-E”; they should not sound like work. Duplets and triplets should closely coincide, such that the second eighth-note of a duplet sounds together with the third eighth-note of a triplet. The effect should be a very natural, relaxed and casual swing.

Performed at St. Alban's in Albany, CA, June 2009

Players:
Vicki Boeckman, Frances Feldon, Mark McMahon, Glen Shannon.

 

 The Bloomberg Codex: Aria

 

 The Bloomberg Codex: Recitative

 

 The Bloomberg Codex: Fugue

Performed at St. Alban's in Albany, CA, June 2009

Players:
Vicki Boeckman, Frances Feldon, Mark McMahon, Glen Shannon.