'The Last Possibilities of Light' Ritornello-Variations for Flute and Piano

15 minutes

Flute and Piano

Premiere run with flautist Conor Nelson in 23/24 season, recording July 25/26, 2024.

World premiere: Thursday February 1, 2024, University of Wisconsin, Madison. Conor Nelson, flute, Christopher Taylor, piano.

Program notes: 

The Last Possibilities of Light, written for and dedicated to the American flute virtuoso Conor Nelson, is a variation set loosely based on an elegaic melody, for those we have lost, which returns in ritornello fashion during the course of this 13-minute work.  The title is a phrase from the poet Michael Ondaatje, whose poetry not infrequently sets the stage for my music.  Following the initial statement of this elegy for flute alone, and between returns of the theme in various guises, the music is by turns floating, soaring, cascading, airy and thunderous.  After the final, expansive return of the elegy led by the piano, the music cascades toward the end when the flute ultimately disappears like a ghost.

                                                       - Donald Crockett

Commissioned by Conor Nelson with the support of the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison with funding from the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation.