List of Works || Riffs III

Riffs III (1992)


Duration: 8 minutes 30 seconds

First Performance:

Over his compositional career, Weinzweig composed numerous solo works for instruments traditionally supported by accompaniment, including Riffs for Solo Flute (1974), Cadenza for solo clarinet (1986), and Tremologue for Solo Viola (1987). Such solo works allow an instrument’s textural and timbral possibilities to be vigorously explored. Shortly after composing Riffs II (1991) for one iconic jazz instrument, Weinzweig turned to another: the trumpet.

Riffs III consists of six segments, most of which are metred; the sixth segment contains the most unmetred passages. The first segment opens with a short motive, which is repeated and varied numerous times; the limited range of this motive is soon abandoned for a wide-ranging cantabile section. This contrast anticipates the textural and timbral variety of Riffs III, which is achieved through detailed articulations, dynamic contrasts, use of the plunger mute, and extended technique (e.g., mouthpiece hand pop). The trumpet displays a wide expressive range, notated variously in the score as “boldly”, “cantabile,” “tenderly,” “graceful,” “menacing,” and “nervously.”

Written by Alexa Woloshyn