The Tarantella has an interesting history. It comes from a region of Italy with a particularly high population of Tarantula spiders, and owes its name and existence to the fact that people once believed it was possible to sweat out the supposedly deadly poison of their bites by dancing wildly, often for an entire night. That quick, whirling dance became known as the tarantella, and has found its way into the concert hall countless times.
This tarantella is written for two or three flutes that dance around one another: weaving in and out of one another's musical space, picking up lines where another leaves off, and performing feats of acrobatics as they whirl along.
T A R A N T E L L A
For two or three flutes
Photo: Jessie Nucho and Victoria Hauk, credit Jason O'Connell