The pieces and their occasions are as follows:
1. Minuet (for Joan Tower): first performed at Joan’s fiftieth birthday DaCapo Chamber Players celebration in 1988, in an arrangement for five players which I made for the concert.
2. Gavotte (for Harriet Thiele): Harriet Thiele, manager of the first Token Creek International Chamber Festival, accepted this piece in lieu of payment, and performed it herself in Madison in 1990.
3. Waltz (for Rose Mary Harbison): an anniversary waltz (1987) for our 24th anniversary (an uneven but symmetrical number).
4. Tango (for Milo Feinberg, also for Alan and Janet), a tango “seen from ground level” to welcome Milo into the world.
Like the first set of occasional pieces it is an odd, accidental collection, deceptively difficult to play, and pursuing trains of thought rather distinct from the larger pieces I was writing at the same time.
The first performance of the set: Christopher Oldfather on the Collage concert of November 21, 1991.
— John Harbison