Commissioned by Brooke F. Cadwallader, Tritonis was originally written for flute and guitar duo Andrew Bolotowsky and Joe Karpeniaby in 1978. He later arranged the piece for solo piano and recorded it with The Dave Brubeck Quartet March 10–11, 1980, which was released on the Concord Jazz Label on August 31, 1980.
Note by the Composer
“Tritonis is the name of a mythical lake near the Mediterranean. It is said that Athena was born from Zeus’s head on the shores of the lake, Tritonis. It was here, also, the Argonauts became lost and the mythical god Triton guided them back to the sea. In the days of organum and cantus, the interval of the augmented 4th was sometimes called the “devil’s interval.” Rather than think of it in diabolic terms, I always thought the augmented 4th an interval of great consequence. It is the springboard for much of the polytonality that I have used throughout my playing from the early forties to today.”
-Dave Brubeck, 1980