Music by

PROGRAM NOTES by the composer

Two Cats for Flute and Bb Clarinet

In December 2006, I had the wonderful experience of playing clarinet, saxophone, and piano at a Christmas-season fundraiser for the SPCA of Dutchess County (NY). What was musically a typical Christmas party gig turned out to be a very heart-warming and moving way to help out the invaluable work of this humane organization. I made it known that I'd be delighted to return, and within a few months I was invited to play for the December 2007 fundraiser, along with a special request to create a new piece to be premiered as a headline attraction for the 2007 fundraising party.

Being quite fond of my flutist-host's two cats, I chose this opportunity to make musical portraits of Hootie, a handsome and elegant 20-pound tuxedo cat, and Tiki, a petite bengal princess. Hootie's music is generally in a slow pulse with lyrical 16ths flowing, just as Hootie is pensive and outwardly still, while clearly being very busy inside. The final phrase is marked snoozendo poco a poco.

The final measures of the Hootie movement are identical to the beginning of the Tiki movement, just as in reality one cat's end is sometimes notably close to the other's beginning.

After a "peacefully lurking" introduction, Tiki's remarkable showcat grace and playful lightness are set as an effervescent scherzo, including some double-tonguing (after all, her name is ti-ki), a bit of fluttertonguing as Tiki can sound herself, and with a regally strutted circus march in the middle of the scherzo.

TWO CATS was premiered on December 2, 2007 at the SPCA of Dutchess County's annual fundraiser. Sitting in front of the stage was a recently rescued German shepherd, barely able to walk due to a horrible past. This unfortunate dog's pain in merely moving had been dramatically shown as part of the fund-raising presentation about the heroic rescue work of the SPCA. Halfway through the Tiki movement however, the German shepherd stood up and walked away - demonstrating either the profound healing power of music, or the worst review I've ever gotten.

Hootie, bar 8: optional breath in clarinet preceding the D 16th note.
Hootie, bar 18: add cresc hairpin in clarinet, beats 1-2, then back to p on beat 4.
Tiki, bar 19: flute's grace note becomes D-natural, not Eb
Tiki, bar 29: delete the "rit."
Tiki: bar 139: flute slur G#-F#, then slur E-B
Tiki, bar 172: flute in beat 1, change the D pickup to a triplet rather than 16th

Dorff performing Two Cats
with Lois Herbine at 
2008 NFA convention


last updated February 22, 2020