Joycesketch II (1981) by David Schiff
for viola

In the 1980s I began work on an opera based on stories by James Joyce. To prepare myself for this project (which still awaits completion) I composed three short Joycesketches for solo flute, solo viola, and orchestra respectively. Joycesketch II for viola was written for John Graham, who was then the violist with Speculum Musicae and who had given the premiere of my Elegy for String Quartet that won the League-ISCM National Composers Competition. Joyce's works are filled with musical references which at times seem to tell their own story. Joycesketch II collages several types of Irish music — ballads, jigs and reels — as if they were floating through the dreams of a sleeping fiddler.

— D. S.    

[from program for February 10, 2014 concert]