The Sky Was Good for Flying (2016)
for violin & piano - 6.5'
The title for "The sky was good for flying" is taken from the Louis MacNeice poem titled "Sunlight on the Garden." I often write music before searching for a title that fits. The piece has a weightless, lofty feel, evoking sentiments of nostalgia, loss, and beauty which, for me, resonates with the tone of the MacNeice poem. Also, the poem has a complex inner rhyming scheme which relates to the repetition I use with the musical material. This piece was written to accompany a performance of Beethoven's Violin Sonata No. 4, Op. 23 and the "Kreutzer" Violin Sonata No. 9, Op. 47 as one of five commissioned new works to accompany a complete cycle of the ten Beethoven violin sonatas by Nicholas DiEugenio and Mimi Solomon. "The sky was good for flying" draws on the brief, lyrical second theme from the first movement of the Kreutzer sonata. The piece takes the fleeting melody from and spins it out into its own narrative--a kind of "fan fiction" for this Beethoven theme. The most direct Beethoven quotation appears around three quarters of the way through the work.
The Sky was Good for Flying was commissioned by Nicholas DiEugenio and Mimi Solomon and recorded on their album Unraveling Beethoven on New Focus Recordings.
The Sky was Good for Flying by David Kirkland Garner conveys lyrically stunning results in what one might call the "furling" motif for violin and piano. It is highly lyrical and very memorable. (Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review)