And then I knew 'twas Wind (1992) by Toru Takemitsu
for flute, viola, and harp

The title of And then I knew 'twas Wind is from a poem by Emily Dickinson:

Like Rain it sounded till it curved
And then I knew 'twas Wind
It walked as wet as any Wave
But swept as dry as sand.

Takemitsu wrote that the work "has as its subject the signs of the wind in the natural world and of the soul, or unconscious mind (or we could even call it 'dream'), which continues to blow, like the wind, invisibly, through human consciousness."

One can hear that And then I knew 'twas Wind pays homage to Debussy, for not only does Takemitsu use the same instrumentation as Debussy’s Sonata No. 2 for flute, viola, and harp, he quotes it in a rising figure that is first presented in the viola. The composition features a continuous stream of interconnected episodes, with a smooth, rhythmically varying flow that incorporates both sound and silence. The work uses modal melodies and subtle changes in tone color; and while it features complex harmonies, it is mostly calm and meditative. Takemitsu's exquisite musicality and his exceptional sense of instrumental technique and color are on full display in this piece.

— B. B.    

[from program for March 20, 2017 concert]