Ruah, Flute-Piano Version

Flutist Renee Siebert & Pianist Cynthia Siebert: World Premiere Performance
Instrumentation: Flute & Piano
Duration: 23:00
Renee and Cynthia Siebert
National Flute Association Convention, Kansas City, MO
          Ruah , pronounced with a guttural “h”, is a Hebrew word that translates as air, wind, or breath. In Cabalistic mysticism it also refers to the part of the soul that mediates between the body and the spirit. Both the colloquial and spiritual meanings are at work here. The images of breath and air inform  the timbral stretching of the flute’s sound, with the flutist using the voice and its breath flow in conjunction with played tones. The image of the wind is captured in the swirling lines of the first movement, marked Soaring, and in the third, titled Impassioned. The second movement, Tender,  emerges from a dynamic stillness, with far-flung registral limits, and large internal spaces. Its three-part  organization mirrors the larger-scale three movement plan of the entire piece. The final movement is a spin through space, and reflects a more tightly wound, assertive character than the first two movements. Howevr, it also refers to the preceding movements. The spiritual reference is embodied in the role of the flute as it variously springs forth from and mediates between the instruments of the ensemble.
          Ruah was composed for and is dedicated to Reneé Siebert, who premiered and the recorded it with the Prism Chamber Orchestra. Originally scored for solo flute with an additional wind quartet, brass trio and strings, an optional percussionpart was created for the Aspen Contemporary Ensemble, who premiered it with flutist Mehrdad Gholami and conductor Timothy Weiss. Composition of Ruah was made possible in part by an NEA Composer Fellowship and a residency at the VCCA (Virginia Center for the Creative Arts), where the flute/piano version was also created. It was premiered by Reneé and Cynthia Siebert at the NFA Convention in Kansas City in 1994. As a flutist in my early years, extensive exploration and experimentation with the instrument has informed Ruah as well as multiple other flute-focused compositions.

Share This

Copy Link to Clipboard