Coquelicot (Poppies) for flute and cello
- Jeux–Let’s Play (duration ca. 1:30)
- Coquelicot Reverie–Dreaming Poppies (dur. ca. 4 min.)
- Course Pursuite–Catch me if you can! (dur. ca. 4:30)
When I first met Duo Coquelicot, flutist Carol Wincenc and cellist Velleda Miragias, I was enchanted by their playful spirit. Even the name they chose for their duo, “coquelicot” (French for poppies), has a joyful lilt whose rhythmic pattern became the first movement, “Let’s Play.” As I composed, I pictured Carol and Velleda romping in a field of brilliant red poppies, letting their spirits run freely.
The second movement, “Dreaming Poppies,” imagines them lolling around after a picnic, letting their dream state lead to a peaceful reverie. Its gentle counterpoint is reminiscent of a baroque dance.
The third movement, “Catch me if you can!” creates its own sound world, with the cello’s open strings and neighboring quarter tones propelling the momentum forward. The energy spills over into a percussion section with flute key-clicks and vocalizations paired with cello drumming on the body of the instrument. Other techniques such as flute flutter tonguing, timbral trills, a jet whistle effect, and pitch-bending, combined with cello “seagull” and other harmonic glissandi serve to convey an ebullience that cannot be contained.
I am grateful to Carol and Velleda for welcoming me into their joyous camaraderie. Special thanks to Gianna Gifford and the Boston Public Library for commissioning the work with support from the Bank of America Charitable Foundation.