The title for Song of the Plains comes from the third movement where the guitar, banjo and mandolin alternate with the strings in weaving their way contrapuntally around the The Yellow Rose of Texas. While movements one and four speak of joy, the second features a melancholy song played by the viola with a counter melody in the violin. The piece is orchestrated for mandolin, banjo and two guitars, plus strings and percussion.
Upon hearing the second work a friend said it was something he could enjoy while sipping ouzo in a cafe on the Mediterranean. My first reaction to his comment was negative , but over the years I have come to accept his judgment. After all, I now reason, the folks in powdered wigs who first listened to Mozartís divertimenti were probably sipping ouzo or its equivalent. Unlike any of Mozartís divertimenti this piece uses two guitars, strings and tom-tom.
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Song of the Plains - Allegro • Andante Scherzo • Presto
Cafe Ouzo - Allegro • Andante Cantabile • Vivace