List of Works || Riffs II

Riffs II (1991)


Duration: 7 minutes

First Performance: 26 April 1992, Toronto; Alistair Kay

Weinzweig dedicated Riffs II to trombonist Alistair Kay, who premiered the work on April 26, 1992 in Toronto. Like Riffs for Solo Flute (1984), Riffs II displays Weinzweig’s interest in jazz, heard here most obviously in the use of the trombone and various mutes, including the iconic plunger mute.

Riffs II consists of five segments. The first three include both metred and unmetred sections, while the last two are completely unmetred. Despite the metric freedom, Riffs II demands a strong pulse and close attention to tempo markings. The trombone explores timbral subtleties, not only through the use of mutes, but also indications for cracked tone, hand pops on the mouthpiece, and varied vibrato. The trombone plays mostly short motives, many of which include large leaps and glissandi. Dynamics and articulations of each note have been carefully and precisely notated; such detail requires great attention by the player.

Written by Alexa Woloshyn