Five Constellations

(2010)

Instrumentation:

flute and harp

Duration: 8'

Five Constellations for flute and harp 

I. Vela, the ship's sail 

II. Columba, the dove

III. Lyra, the harp

IV. Coma Berenices, Berenice's hair 

V. Eridanus, the river

 

Five Constellations for flute and harp was inspired by the above celestial titles. The work was commissioned by Roberto Alvarez (flute) and Katryna Tan (harp), along with other works by Singaporean and Spanish composers, which are recorded on their CD La Noche. 

 

An atmospheric opening movement, Vela, The ship's sail incorporates the letters A - B - E - A - E from the names of musicians Katryna Tan and Roberto Alvarez. An over-arching musical architecture is created by a variety in which the motto permeates the whole suite. Columba, the dove, is personified by the solo flute capturing the glowing sense of freedom and flight in the upward-moving melodies. The centre-piece is Lyra, the harp, an uplifting solo that scintillates with brilliance. Beginning with a subtle quote of Debussy's La fille aux cheveux de lin (The girl with the flaxen hair), Coma Berenices, Berenice's hair, is portrayed with a flowing elegance. Five Constellations closes with Eridanus, the river. An ephemeral quality depicts the fleeting nature of flowing streams and meandering paths. 

© 2020 by CHEN Zhangyi