Sonata flautando can be used at any time. Following after Lamentatio the Scherzo tends towards the feeling of a danse macabre: Glimpses of light though, for a shadowy approach of winter. Appropriate to our present times.
-- Burkhard Mohr
These four short and delightful movements are easily accessible to intermediate players, in a recorder-friendly key with enjoyable melodies. Lots of moments in unison keep the players in touch with their tuning and help to keep the group aligned in their presentation. The music is well organized and comforting to play, even the minor-key movements. Harmonies are very pleasing and the ranges are comfortable.
The first movement, Sinfonia, opens and closes with a regal processional, framing ensemble interplay with fun side commentary. Drama unfolds in the chord changes as a complete story arc runs its course, returning to the processional motive.
The second movement, Lamentatio “Pro defunctis pestilentiae 2020”, a slam against Covid-19, is in a moderate 3 meter with the quartet split into upper and lower pairs that stick together for the most part. This movement is an easy read, with phrases of 4 and 8 bars landing right where you want them to. Dynamic markings vary between p, mf, and f, giving some larger shape to the music.
Ensemble skills come into play in the third movement, Scherzo, with handbell-choir staggered 8th-note pairs rising upward through the parts and cementing each voice’s place in the stack. Fun bits in unison bring everyone back together. See how fast YOUR group can play this- you’ll have a great time with it!
The finale, Jubilatio, is in a quick joyful 3, major key, and features a lot of homophonic movement in between little dialogues between ever-changing pairings of voices. Careful articulation markings give the players something to discuss and reach consensus about.