I was interested to read that Joan Tower has written a brand new flute piece. According to an email I received from her a couple of weeks ago, the work For Marianne was written for the retiring Executive Director of the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, Marianne Lockwood. It’s a five minute work, and Tower is currently in the process of editing it. It’s written for solo flute and was premiered in Spring 2010. The New York Times review is favorable, saying that Tower “avoids the unprepared leaps, extreme angularity, multiphonics and other Modernist touches that can make contemporary flute works sound strident. Instead she draws on traditional techniques to fill out the texture. Swirling figures and trilled melodies, for example, give parts of the score the illusion of an almost chordal sound.” My attention is drawn to the phrases “swirling figures” and “trilled melodies,” which sound characteristically Tower-esque. The piece should be available through Schirmer after February, and I’m looking forward to taking a look at it (even if it does render the Appendix of my relatively-new dissertation out-of-date!).