Yellow No. 5

Flute, Bassoon, and Piano


Program Notes:

Yellow No. 5 was commissioned as part of an international effort to by Sophia Tegart and Helena Kopchick to increase the repertoire for chamber ensembles involving the flute and basson as a duet. The piece was commissioned on April 11, 2006, and the piece was finished on July 6, 2006.

The title of the piece is a takeoff of a working name for Tegart and Kopchick’s duo, Tartrazine (the chemical compound we all know as Yellow No. 5). What immediately came to mind when thinking of Yellow No. 5 is its fame as an ingredient in the soft drink Mountain Dew, and the kind of carbonated, sugar-high, and caffeine-induced “extreme sports” mantra that Mountain Dew uses to advertise its product. This piece juxtaposes this mid-1990’s sensibility with the sober setting of chamber music. Another small programatic element throughout the piece is the fragmented, quasi-hocketed imitation and responses between the instruments, which is taken from listening to conversations between Kopchick and Tegart, and imitating their personal dynamics.