Three Sketches for a Fussy Winter

This work was composed in 2007, for flute, clarinet, trombone, percussion, piano, violin, and cello. It was commissioned by the Traiect Ensemble (Romania), who presented the premiere in Bucharest in 2008. How could a Canadian composition be commissioned from so far away, and what is the Romanian connection to our cold Canadian winter? The answer lies with composer Dora Cojocaru, who has no less than 30 works listed in the Canadian Music Centre's catalogue.

Born in Romania, Cojocaru, whose compositions have been performed around the world, has been living in MontrEal since 2002, where she has taught at McGill University's Schulich School of Music and at the Lambda School of Music and Fine Arts.

There are three sketches in the composition. Caleidoscopio is made up of short motifs based on popular solo pieces; Opera Rotas is soft, polyphonic, and modal. Its title is taken from the Latin palindrome Sator Arepo Tenet Opera Rotas. Cicadamania, a parody of cicada evening songs, is to be played as fast as possible. According to the program notes, "The piece was written during an erratic winter in Montreal, Canada (with the thermometer oscillating between +13 and -25 degrees), but in a worm [sic] and cozy room, decorated with remnants of sunnier days: dried flowers, fragrant herbs, cheerful lemons and oranges, crystal white Mediterranean pebbles and beautiful summer-photos [sic]- all in a tremendous effort to keep the spirits high!"

See also Winter.