The Flicker (Fine, Vivian)
Leone Buyse, flute
Vivian Fine Estate
Live performance, San Francisco, January 8, 1983
Leone Buyse, flute
The Sky's the Limit
Crystal Records, CD 317. Used with permission
|Work Title||The Flicker|
|Year/Date of Composition||1973|
|First Performance||1974-03-03 at Mills College, Oakland, California, Maquette Kuper, flute|
|Average Duration||8 minutes|
“The flight is deeply undulating, produced by several quick beats and a pause." -Roger Tory Peterson
Bird-song is also heard, and flight and song intermingle.
- —Composer’s Note to the Score
A flicker outside the window of her Bennington home inspired Vivian Fine to depict its flight, described by ornithologist Tory Peterson as ‘deeply undulating, produced by several quick beats and a pause.’ Bird song is often heard, and flight and song intermingle. The performer’s final gesture is to lift and turn her head and eyes, as if following an ascending trajectory which disappears into space.
- —Leone Buyse, liner notes for “The Sky’s the Limit” Crystal Records CD317
Fine returned to birdsong for an unusual piece, The Flicker, for solo flute or piano right hand. Her flicker sings virtuostic lines that change continuously for this long six-page solo. One would expect some type of reuse of material to account for the multiplicity of pitches, but this is not the case. Fine reported that she "wrote what I heard," which was the imagined flight and song of this active bird.
- —Heidi Von Gunden, The Music of Vivian Fine, Scarecrow Press, 1999
One of the finest additions to the 20th century unaccompanied flute repertoire.
- —Michael Steinberg, musicologiist
This is an example of confident writing….Written at a time when Ms. Fine was largely immersed in ensemble writing, The Flicker stands out as an evident expression of lively rhythm and sturdy solo line.
- —Betty-Ann Lynerd, Women of Note Quarterly, February 1997
Fine’s sense of the drama and humor are obvious.
- —Richard Pontzious, San Francisco Examiner, January 10, 1983