By
Reginal Harris Baiocchi

"Azuretta" by Regina Baiocchi is a rather sentimental and romantic piece in its outer sections, with a contrasting, harsh and dissonant middle section.  The composition is notated "rubato" and "dolce". It's tempo is quarter note = 60 in 3/4 meter. "Azuretta" is both "bluesy" and "jazzy"; though the composition is in F major, the numerous accidentals and extensions greatly weaken the tonal feeling; these two factors make the piece relatively dissonant, especially in the middle section.

Accoding to pianist Samantha Ege, the composer described the piece as a "musical reaction to a debilitating stroke Dr. Hale Smith suffered in 2000. It was unbearable to witness my mentor, friend and master composer rendered mute and paralyzed. Hale was such a vibrant man who loved to talk, hold court; and he had the goods to do so. Unfortunately, Hale subsisted in a mute, paralyzed state until he passed 24 November 2009. Fortunately, Hale’s incredible legacy speaks for him and itself.” This may explain the nostalgic character of the outer sections, and the anguished dissonances in the middle.

"Azuretta" is a late intermediate composition in terms of difficulty. There is no fast or technical demanding passage in the composition, but performers have to deal with the accidentals, syncopations and dissonant or complex harmonies. The performers also have to learn to execute the composition in the exact way the composer intended to. The composer's website includes a sample of the first two pages of the composition.

About the Composer:

Regina Harris Ba is a poet, author, and composer whose music has been performed by Detroit and Chicago Symphony orchestras, US Army Band, and internationally-acclaimed artists. Performances include concerts in Paris, Rome, and Bari, Italy, as part of Festival Incontri Musicali di Musica Sacra, and in Turkey and Unna, Germany at the Women Composers’ Library. Regina has written music for symphony orchestra; a libretto and one-act opera; hand drum concerto; marimba concerto; ballet; chamber music; liturgical and secular music; and vocal and instrumental, including for pipe organ." (3arts.org)

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