02: Legends Trio for flute, viola, and harp

Rollin visited the Allegheny Reserve and its Seneca Indian Museum on a trip to Western New York State. A young Seneca woman, a musician working in the museum store, helped him choose recordings and books on tribal legends. The Legends Trio, largely, is in Rollin’s own style. There is a short reference to a Seneca Round Dance in the “Intrada.” The second and fourth movement titles amount to a friendly nod to the composer Robert Schumann. The interesting folklore helped generate formal plans and moods of the five movements:

  1. Intrada — “He Who Sets Forests on High Hills and He Who Gnarls the Trees” — based upon the Seneca creation myth of two original conflicting deities
  2. Arabesque — “Spirit of the Wind” a wind spirit appearing to tribal founders
  3. Grave — “The Peace Tree” The Iroquois Tribal Confederation is symbolized by The Peace Tree. The registral motion reflects this visual symbol. Benjamin Franklin visited the Iroquois to study their Confederation which, in turn, influenced the framers of the United States Constitution.
  4. Fantasia-Scherzo — “The Little People Who Move Underground” — depicts a legendary race of small but benevolent pranksters.
  5. Processional and Presto — “Masks that Cure the Sick and Wind Spirit Magic” — Part One symbolizes the annual masked “False Face Ceremony,” in which both spiritual and physical cleansing takes place. Part Two returns to the second movements rapid and intense wind spirit, symbolizing the turbulence of earthly experience.
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