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Euterpe's Caprice (2008)

Two-minute fanfare for solo flute

This tiny work was made as a holiday gift for flutist Claire Chase
First performance: Katherine Borst Jones, flute, at the 2010 Festival of New Music
Ohio State University, 9 April 2010
Duration: 2 minutes


Eftihia Arkoudis, flute, as Muse Euterpe Alexander Merandi as God Apollo Choreography by: Eftihia Arkoudis

Program Note

With Claire Chase, Flutist and Executive Director, International Contemporary Ensemble, at the American Music Center Members Meeting.

Euterpe's Caprice, a two-minute fanfare for solo flute, was composed on a greeting card that the composer sent to Claire at holiday-time in 2008.  It was made as a gift for Claire because, as Augusta puts it, "not only is she a world-class flute player and consummate musician, Claire is also one of the nicest and most energetic people on the planet. She is a force of nature."

Although this music is highly notated, precise, carefully structured, thoughtfully proportioned, and so forth... and although the performer is elegantly working from a very specific text, Augusta likes her music to feel spontaneously propelled; as if the audience were witnessing a "captured improvisation."  She does this by creating works that encourage the performer to nurture the music's gradual emergence rather than being controlled by it.

While Augusta's compositions are played by hundreds of performers the world over, the works she dedicates to performers are highly personal, and this piece in particular has Claire's lucid, energetic style in its bones.

"I like my music to be played so that the "inner-life" of the different rhythmic syntaxes is specific, with characterized phrasing of the colors and implied harmonies, etc.— keeping it ultra alive — so it sounds spontaneous.  For her sublime, precision and technical mastery, I deeply thank Claire for playing my nuanced notations in this way."
— Augusta Read Thomas

Euterpe (pronounced: yoō tərˈ pē) in Greek and Roman mythology was the Muse of flute playing and lyric poetry.

— Whit Bernard
Director of Development
International Contemporary Ensemble

To obtain examination or performance material for any of
Augusta Read Thomas's works, please contact G. Schirmer Inc..


Flutist Claire Chase