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Gliding the Lily (2004)

Gilding the Lily on W.A. Mozart's Duettino "la ci darem la mano" from Don Giovanni was written at the request of Michael Juk expressly for this concert and the three winners of the CBC Pacific Spotlight Competition. Michael asked for a reduction/ elaboration/ expansion/ transcription of Mozart's famous duettino, originally for two voices and orchestra, with an additional request for a virtuoso flute part. The vocal parts are untouched.
The challenge?
The perfection of Mozart's music is the stuff of reality, not the stuff of legend. To change anything, even to simply transcribe the notes of the orchestra part for piano brings wooden, "clunky" results. To add an elaborate flute part to Mozart's duettino would be at odds with the existing music and the operatic text. Instead, I rewrote the orchestra part for flute and piano, adding an introduction, cadenza and postlude based on Mozart's original music, incorporating "extended techniques" in the flute part: specifically harmonics and multiphonics (playing more than one note at the same time - easy on the piano, not so easy on the flute).  The result, I hope, unites Mozart's music and mine, and that the transcription, even at its most fanciful, is true to the spirit of Mozart's playful, flirtatious original.

- Rodney Sharman