Recurrence is a duet framed in a traditional rondo form: ABACA. The returns of the A theme are never literal returns and repeated materials among the differing sections are never identical repetitions. These returns of A are the inspiration for the title, and the reoccurrence of the A material is a study on the lengths that a theme can be stretched and still be recognizable. The returns undergo extensive development. The B and C sections are meant to be extreme contrasts to the A sections as a means of cleansing the aural palate in order to erase the listener’s memory of the theme. Despite the great lengths taken to blur the primary theme, its recognizability is undeniable. The closing section is a reflection on the basic differences among the three occurrences of the main theme. This final section is a summation of the processes that have previously been blurred by the contrasting sections of the piece. Ultimately the form portrays a futile fight that concludes with a peaceful resignation to the inevitable.
Recurrence was composed for my friend Michael Lyons.