Martin Butler American Rounds (1998)
for violin, viola, cello, double bass and piano
2. Grazioso, semplice
4. Pesante, vivace
Scored for piano quintet with double-bass, it is the latest in a series of pieces to explore the qualities and characteristics of different genres of folk music. Its most obvious ancestors are Down-Hollow Winds and Hootenanny; but two of its movements are actually re-composed and expanded versions of two of the Three Little Folk. Games (1995) for piano. Each of the four movements of the work concentrates itself on a tiny amount of highly-characterised musical material derived from the, scales, gestures and performing practices of different American folk idioms.
©Martin Butler 1998 (Reproduced with permission of Oxford University Press)
American Rounds was commissioned by the Schubert Ensemble with funds provided by South West Arts, The David Cohen Charitable Trust and the Schubert Ensemble Trust. It was premiered by the Schubert Ensemble at the Cheltenham International Music Festival on 16th July 1998.