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An orchestral suite inspired by the Baroque keyboard suites of Handel and Bach, the four movements of Garden Varieties, all allude to the various, typical inhabitants one might find in a well-tended ornamental garden. The opening movement, "Petals," evokes flowering plants unfolding their buds, providing an enticing setting for the garden's small denizens to explore. The bee, for instance, is a quick, tireless and, when impeded by others, an irascible worker. The second movement, "The Bee (Bourée)," thus invites listeners to embark on a dizzying flight through a variety of landscapes, moods and potential conflicts.. In "The Snail (Sarabande)," repeating measures mirror the repeating, self-reflexive structure of the snail's shell. String glissandi, along with other programmatic gestures, suggest a whimsical vision of a snail's slow, single-footed dancing. The final movement, "The Junebug (Jig)," presents a musical portrait of its eponymous flying beetle. Here trills and precipitous musical scales trace this insect's quirky course through imaginary vistas, ultimately bringing Garden Varieties to a swift yet airy end.
I. Petals (Prelude): Crocus, Camellia, Honeysuckle, Nightshade, Rose
II. The Bee (Bourrée)
III. The Snail (Sarabande)
IV. The Junebug (Jig)