Title track of the debut release on Naxos, and one of my most-performed chamber works.
The sextuplet motive that opens Left at the Fork in the Road quickly yields to a dry accompaniment over which a flute intones a logical melody. A somber midsection pairs the flute and bassoon, who state a forlorn theme in unison - a rarity - while the clarinet obstinately interjects a dotted, falling figure. Returning to the starting tempo, the instruments enter a denser thicket of changing meters and complex rhythms, careening to a showy, tah-dah, sort of ending. The work was partially inspired by the study of Latin rhythms in the works of several composers, notably those of the Argentine Alberto Ginastera. The title came early in the piece's composition, and any political inference that can be made may not be entirely off the mark. It was premiered at the Philadelphia Art Alliance in 2003 and has become one of my most frequently performed works and leads off the album of the same name.