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The title for Beersheeba comes from one of the many cities depicted in Italo Calvino’s novel Le città invisibili. This work was conceived of as a chamber concertino for four players; the solo line is passed from player to player as the piece progresses. With this in mind, the piece begins with a solo passage for bass clarinet which eventually evolves into an extended passage for the alto flute. The second half of the piece is dominated by the piano and percussion, sometimes alternating, sometimes sharing the lead. The passages in between the solo sections are somewhat tempestuous, as the members of the ensemble react to the changing structure around them.

Beersheeba was written in 1995 for the New York New Music Ensemble’ 20th Season. The work is dedicated to Milton Babbitt in honor of his 80th birthday.