Instrumentation: Flute and classical guitar
Publisher: Boosey and Hawkes, Hendon Music (BMI)
Duration: 7 minutes
Commissioned by: Present Music
World Premiere: Performed by Present Music at the Cornish College for the Arts in Seattle, Washington, April, 1995
In 1991, I composed Desi for symphonic winds. After many requests for a companion piece, I wrote I Loved Lucy (Yo amaba a Lucy) for flute and classical guitar. The first performance was presented by Present Music, the new ensemble from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in April 1996 at the Cornish College for the Arts, Seattle Washington.
As the title suggests, this composition is inspired by I Love Lucy (1951-57), one of the most-watched and innovative American television sitcoms of all time. In I Love Lucy, the comedian Lucille Ball (1911-89) played the zany red-headed wife of Cuban bandleader Ricky Ricardo, Desi Arnaz (1917-86). Ricky sings and plays his guitar with his Latin band every night at a New York City nightclub. In each episode, Lucy, who longs to return to show-business with her husband, manages to get herself into, and out of, seemingly impossible and hilarious predicaments.
In comedy, timing is everything, and my sense of musical timing has been greatly influenced by watching great comics like Lucille Ball at work. With its Latin percussive guitar grooves and demanding flute theatrics, this seven minute composition is a musical tip-of-the-hat to I Love Lucy and its star, Lucille Ball.