Similar to many of the numerous works bearing the same title, Rhapsody is relatively free in form and consists of a few core musical ideas transformed through several contrasting sections.  After an extended improvisatory opening in which the basic musical materials of the work – semi-chromatic scales, repeated notes, bent pitches, harp pedal slides – are introduced, syncopation and secundal harmony guide these materials through several moments of dance, introspection, and drama.  After the Piazzolla-like groove of the coda reaches its climax, the opening material makes a brief reappearance before a final dancing gesture brings the work to a close.

The work was commissioned and recorded by the saxophone and harp duo Pictures on Silence, and the saxophone part may also be performed on the birbynė, a traditional Lithuanian woodwind instrument.

To order the Pictures on Silence’s debut CD, Voyage, on which Rhapsody is included, click here.

Instrumentation: soprano saxophone (or birbynė) and harp

Duration: ca. 12 minutes

Year composed: 2008

Pictures on Silence:

Noah Getz, saxophone

Jacqueline Pollauf, harp