Opus number: 29

Title: In Memory of Roger Sessions

Instrumentation: solo violin

Date written: 1987, Boston; Wilson, North Carolina; St. Maarten Netherlands Antilles

Length: eight minutes

Premiere performance: Ayano Ninomiya, violinist, Harvard Musical Association, May 16, 1997

Important subsequent performances: Ayano Ninomiya, violinist, Boston Conservatory, April 10, 1998; Cheri Markward, The Boston Conservatory

Recordings: tape at Boston Conservatory library of Ninomiya; CD recording in progress with Ninomiya

Program notes: “In Memory of Roger Sessions” for solo violin was written during Christmas in 1986. The work consists of three short movements: “Elegy,” “Parody,” and “Dialogue.” “Elegy,” based on a theme from Sessions’s most ambitious work, the opera Montezuma, is a slow rhapsodic movement with implied counterpoint. “Parody” refers to the mocking character of the second movement as well as to its Renaissance definition, a form of homage paid by quoting the music of another composer. Ten of Sessions’s works, from the Black Maskers for orchestra to the Sonata for solo violin, all identified in the score, are quoted in a seamless set of sarcastic variations. “Dialogue” is an imagined conversation between myself and Sessions much like our actual conversations. Our names are spelled as musical themes that are presented antiphonally and simultaneously, and, as in reality always, Sessions has the last word.