Are you looking for a new piece to perform? Look no further, I have the piece for you:
Bruce Stark, American Suite for flute and piano
I truly don’t know why this piece hasn’t gotten more air time. This fine piece is not for the amateur. Both the flute part and the piano part are on the difficult side. Also, it’s not easy-peasy to put together. It takes some doin’ to get this into performance shape.
Let me tell you about this wonderful piece. Each movement is about some part of the USA, and Bruce Stark has depicted these areas beautifully in music. There is scintillating technique, jazz, blues, and wonderful melodic lines all set in a 20th century style.
The piece is perfectly accessible for the audience. There is something for everyone.
The first movement opens with a hoe-down and it’s rip roarin’. There are areas that hint of folk songs such as Little Brown Jug and the ending accelerates to the end.
Movement 2 is entitled The Bird and the Canyon. This movement has wonderful little bird calls at the beginning and then uses some extended techniques to depict wind in the Grand Canyon. The piano has a little action but it’s mostly about the flute showing the wind through the canyon.
Moving on to the 3rd movement, the piece moves on to the west, deserts, glacial lakes, the Sierra Nevada mountain range, La Jolla, CA (known for its rugged coastline), and the Pacific Ocean. It’s has a quick tempo with a great interplay between the piano and flute.
Movement IV is a blues/slow jazz piece. You and the piano can do as much give and take as you see fit.
The last movement is Street Beats and depicts New York City in the morning. It flies just like the traffic. You need some fancy foot work, but it’s all worth it in the end as its intricate rhythm and technique conclude the work.
I can’t recommend this piece highly enough.
Program it for your next recital.
And let Bruce know you are doing it.
Have fun – you will!