Commissioned by the Sphinx Organization for the 10th anniversary of its Sphinx Competition, Delights and Dances is a 13-minute work that was originally scored for full orchestra with a varied group of string soloists. Abels later revised the three-movement piece for string orchestra and string quartet. The revised version premiered in 2007 as part of the Sphinx Laureates Concert featured at Carnegie Hall.
Del Sol violinist Benjamin Kreith offers some thoughts about the upcoming performance. “We’re looking forward to performing Michael Abels’ Delights and Dances with the Bear Valley Symphony and Michael Morgan. The piece is a pleasure to play — full of graceful melodies and virtuosic fiddling. We especially enjoy the opening cello and viola dialogue, and all the juicy solos in the bluesy center of the piece. Later we all join together in a rollicking bluegrass dance. Delights and Dances lives up to its title – well-crafted and full of infectious tunes and rhythms.”
“So much of Michael Abels’ music,” shares Michael Morgan, “immediately connects with an audience and Delights and Dances is another fine example. It shows off the solo string quartet with great electricity and is extremely well-crafted for the string orchestra. It is a great addition to the rep because we need good pieces with a string quartet as soloists.”