Dog Trots

for Piano

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Even as a cat lover, I have retained fondness for canines, but having none of my own, I chose to portray those belonging at the time to family members and friends. The original sketches of this work are lost, but I still have the fair copies I made in ink in those pre-Finale days. I wrote this work deliberately in a light-hearted style, as I wanted to have an encore-style work to close my doctoral recital, otherwise comprised of “profound” music. Thus Dog Trots was premiered by David Brunell at that recital on April 21, 1979. The five contrasting movements include the frenetic “Ginger’s Jig,” (after the dog of my brother Steve Canfield), the pulsing “Pucci’s Parade,” (after the dog of my friend Arthur Leitner), a jocular and jazzy “Smoky and Rocky’s Ruckus,” (dogs of my sister Dala Newsome), a somber “Kelly’s Complaint,” (the dog belonging to my former teacher, John Eaton), and the manic “Muffy’s Muddle,” (for my parents’ dog). The jazz influence found in the Cat Dances is considerably more pronounced in the Dog Trots, all of which are dance-like pieces, although none is really in the style of the fox-trot dance form that inspired the name.

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