2 IDRS OFFICERS PRESIDENT Terry Ewell Chair-Department of Music Towson University 8000 York Road Towson, MD Bus: (410) FAX: (410) ST VICE PRESIDENT Nancy Ambrose King 3019 School of Music University of Michigan Ann Arbor, MI Bus: (734) ND VICE PRESIDENT Stéphane Lévesque McGill University Faculty of Music 555 Sherbrooke Street West Montreal, Quebec H3A 1E3 CANADA Fax: SECRETARY Martin Schuring Arizona State University School of Music-0405 Tempe, AZ Bus: Fax: PAST PRESIDENT Marc Fink School of Music University of Wisconsin-Madison 455 North Park Street Madison, WI Bus: (608) FAX: (608) AT LARGE MEMBERS Alan Goodman PO Box 4374 Bedford, WY Bus: (805) Carolyn Hove 1193 East Menlo Drive Altadena CA Bus: EXECUTIVE SECRETARY/TREASURER EXHIBIT COORDINATOR Norma R. Hooks 2423 Lawndale Road Finksburg, MD Office: (410) FAX: (410) MUSIC INDUSTRY LIAISON Larry Festa Fox Products Corporation PO Box 347 South Whitley, IN Bus: (260) Fax: (260) BASSOON EDITOR Ronald James Klimko 657 Douglas Drive P.O. Box 986 McCall, ID Bus: (208) OBOE EDITOR Daniel J. Stolper 7 Hermosillo Lane Palm Desert, CA Bus: (760) Fax: (760) IDRS ONLINE PUBLICATIONS EDITOR Yoshiyuki (Yoshi) Ishikawa University of Colorado at Boulder College of Music 301 UBC Boulder, CO Bus: (303) ARCHIVIST Michael J. Burns School of Music P.O. Box University of NC at Greensboro Greensboro, NC Bus: (336) FAX: (336) FERNAND GILLET-HUGO FOX COM- PETITION BASSOON CHAIR Douglas E. Spaniol Jordan College of Fine Arts Butler University 4600 Sunset Avenue Indianapolis, IN Bus: (317) Fax: (317) OBOE CHAIR Nancy Ambrose King 3019 School of Music University of Michigan Ann Arbor, MI Bus: (734) Fax: (603) LEGAL COUNSEL Jacob Schlosser 4937 West Broad Street Columbus, OH Bus: (614) FAX: (614)
3 THE DOUBLE REED Quarterly Journal of the INTERNATIONAL DOUBLE REED SOCIETY VOL. 28 NO. 2 Ronald Klimko and Daniel Stolper, Editors 2005 International Double Reed Society ISSN Designed by Edward Craig Baltimore, MD U.S.A. Printed by The J.W. Boarman Company Baltimore, MD U.S.A.
4 2 TABLE OF CONTENTS ON THE COVER: Porcelain figurine Royal Artillery by Michael Sutty, England. From the collection of Phillip Austin, photographed by George Goslee. Table of Contents Honorary Members List th Annual Double Reed Conference, Ball State University, Muncie, Indiana, July 25-29, Message from the President Terry Ewell Report of the Executive Secretary/Treasurer Norma Hooks IDRS Sponsor-a-Member Program Nancy Ambrose King IDRS Associate Members IDRS- 10 Obituaries: Gwydion Brooke ( ); Kurt Michaelis ( ); Dr. Edmund Chester Williams ( ) Obituary: Arthur L. Gudwin ( ) Terry Ewell 2006 Fernand Gillet - Hugo Fox Bassoon Competition Repertoire Announcement IDRS Membership Form CURRENT EVENTS Double Reeds in the Far North Celebrate in 2005: Anything Can Happen Antero Ojanto Western Kentucky University Host Double Reed Day Jennifer Gottfried The Patrick McFarland English Horn Master Class, April 4, 2005, Carlisle, Pennsylvania Marsha Burkett My Third Master Class Invitation to Costa Rica Gerald Corey Contemporary Russian Music for Bassoon Part 1: Sonatas For Solo and Accompanied Bassoon Tama I. Kott, Olga Haldey Dorati s Cinq pieces (The Six Oboe Works by Antal Dorati, Part IV) Elizabeth Aronson Robertson Chamber Wind Music for Double Reeds by Eastman School of Music Composers Harrington E. Crissy, Jr., Christopher Weait Desafio XII: A Work by Marlos Nobre for Bassoon Janet Grice Music for Two Oboes and English Horn Eric van der Geer A Rare Photo of Fernand Gillet ( ) Robert Freeman
5 THE DOUBLE REED 3 Order Out of Chaos: A Tale of Perestroika, Part Tony Rothman Oboists and Internet Karen Birch The Morceaux de concours for Bassoon Since 1984: A Parisian Tradition Continues Jeffrey Lyman Musical Musings: Using the Metronome Part III Terry Ewell Gioacchino Rossini: Concerto a Fagotto Principale Daryl Durran Quoted Material in the Élégie of Poulenc s Oboe Sonata Andrew Kohn Interview with Joanne Cannon of the Bent Leather Band Terry Ewell Thoughts and Strategies for Bassoon Vibrato Michael Burns Music Performance: A Synthesis of Multiple Skills (An Alternate Approach in the Preparation of Beginners) Alejandra García-Trabucco, Alejandra Silnik Have a Heart: One Bassoonist s Method for Finishing Reed Tips Adam Schwalje Bad Notes on the Bassoon And What You Can Do About Them Robert S. Williams Making Oboe Reeds: An Annotated Bibliography of Primary Sources David Moore Ask the Doctor: Treatment Options for Medical Problems II William J. Dawson, M.D. The Tancibudek Story Graham Abbott A Bassoon Lite, Please Alan Goodman REVIEWS Bassoon Music Reviews Ronald Klimko Bassoon Recording Reviews Ronald Klimko Oboe Recording Reviews Michael Finkelman Oboe Book Review: Jerry L. Voorhees: Development of Woodwind Fingering Systems in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries Michael Finkelman Reed Product Review: Flexter : Bassoon Cane Flex Tester Ronald Klimko Use of the IDRS Trademarks The Double Reed Printing and Publishing Schedule Contributing Members Lost Sheep Advertiser s Index
6 4 HONORARY MEMBERS Günter Angerhöfer (1926) Lady Evelyn Barbirolli (1911) Lewis Hugh Cooper (1920) Bernard Garfield (1924) Ralph Gomberg (1921) George F. Goslee (1916) E. Earnest Harrison (1918) Honorary Members Norman H. Herzberg (1916) John Mack (1927) John Minsker (1912) Ivan Pushechnikov (1918) Wayne Rapier (1930) Mordechai Rechtman (1926) Lowry Riggins (1930) Roland Rigoutat (1930) Louis Rosenblatt (1928) Matthew Ruggiero (1932) Ray Still (1920) Laila Storch (1921) K. David van Hoesen (1926) William Waterhouse (1931) President s Award: Peter Klatt (Industry Liason), Jim Prodan (Archivist) D eceased H onorary M embers Maurice Allard ( ) Philip Bate ( ) Robert Bloom ( ) Gwydion Brooke ( ) Victor Bruns ( ) Donald Christlieb ( ) John de Lancie ( ) Robert De Gourdon ( ) Ferdinand Del Negro ( ) Willard S. Elliot ( ) Bert Gassman ( ) Fernand Gillet ( ) Harold Goltzer ( ) Leon Goossens, CBE ( ) Cecil James ( ) Benjamin Kohon ( ) Simon Kovar ( ) Dr. Paul Henry Lang ( ) Lyndesay Langwill ( ) Alfred Laubin ( ) Stephen Maxym ( ) Robert M. Mayer ( ) W. Hans Moennig ( ) Frederick Moritz ( ) Karl Öhlberger ( ) Fernand Oubradous ( ) Frank Ruggieri ( ) Sol Schoenbach ( ) Leonard Sharrow ( ) Jerry Sirucek ( ) Louis Skinner ( ) Robert Sprenkle ( )
7 THE DOUBLE REED 5
8 6 35TH ANNUAL DOUBLE REED CONFERENCE, BALL STATE UNIVERSITY, MUNCIE, INDIANA, JULY 25-29, 2006
9 THE DOUBLE REED 7 Message from the President Terry B. Ewell Towson, Maryland DOUBLE REEDS ON THE WEB One of the interesting features of our day is the ease at which anyone can share information. Less than 15 years ago double reed instructors, students, or aficionados mostly shared their information on paper resulting in minimal distribution unless it appeared in print. Now, however, we have web sites for performances, ensembles, double reed studios, and many others that distribute all sorts of information that is free for anyone with web access. Of course we all recognize that the most comprehensive website for our discipline is our own If you haven t visited it yet, you must. Below, however, is a list of some other websites I recently visited that piqued my interest. Some sites include commercial endorsements and my listing does not indicate an endorsement from me or the International Double Reed Society. MOST INFORMATIVE BASSOON WEB SITES Information on the Baroque Bassoon. Information on reed adjustment, some MIDI files and more compiled by Christian Davidsson. Website of University of Georgia and Bill Davis. Many links to other websites, including some for oboe. MOST BIZARRE BASSOON WEB SITES This is hard to describe; you will just have to visit. The bassoon brothers at it again. MOST INFORMATIVE OBOE WEB SITES Bruce Haynes has created an on-line search engine of his database of Music for Oboe Oboe/intro.htm. Renee Higgins and David Hite provide a guide for seven levels of oboe study. MOST BIZARRE OBOE WEB SITE activities/raft/strawoboe.html. Create a straw oboe! OTHER SITES OF INTEREST Contrabass Mania with links to low double reed instruments. Brian Moses includes his own bibliographic information with links to many other websites. Unfortunately many of the links did not work for me. British Double Reed Society. MARK YOUR CALENDARS FOR THESE UPCOMING IDRS CONFERENCES: University of Texas, Austin, Texas, June 4-8, Hosts Rebecca Henderson and Kristin Wolfe Jensen. Ball State University, Indiana, July 25-29, Hosts Keith Sweger and Timothy Clinch. Ithaca College, Ithaca, New York. Dates forthcoming, Hosts Paige Morgan and Lee Goodhew. Martin Schuring gives some advice on reed making, practicing, and musical expression.
10 8 REPORT FROM THE EXECUTIVE SECRETARY/TREASURER Report from the Executive Secretary/Treasurer Norma R. Hooks Finksburg, Maryland NEW PACKAGING FOR THE DOUBLE REED Most of you have received your first issue of the Double Reed for If you joined or renewed your membership before the issue was published, it was mailed to you in a poly bag. (If you paid your dues later than April 1, you still got your issue in a paper envelope. They were mailed individually by me.) I have received very good feedback about the new packaging. Our publication seems to be arriving in very good condition, even in places very far from here. I d like to hear from you about the following: was your journal in good condition when it arrived and did it arrive in a more timely manner than in the past? Timely! I m finding more and more that our mailing is going out quickly, but we are at the mercy of postal services around the world. I received notice from Finland that the latest issue got there quickly, but the Canadians were wondering what all the talk was about issue It seemed to arrive in Canada v-e-r-y slowly. You can help us get the Double Reed to you quickly by making sure your address is correct. Have you moved and the post office had to forward the issue to you? If so, please check to make sure I have your new address. I d rather be told twice than to miss you. If your forwarding service has run out, your issue is sent back to me. The Society then has to pay for the return, and pay again when it is mailed back to you. It would be so much simpler for all of us if you would send a change of address. WHY BE A CONTRIBUTING MEMBER? Our Society is very fortunate that so many of our members choose to be contributing members. We appreciate all of you very much! These people give an extra boost to the Society financially helping us to have monies for special projects, as well as giving us the financial ability to provide our student members with their issues at cost. We know that students are the future of our organization. Hopefully, they will become the teachers and contributing members of the future that keep us strong and growing. ARE YOU PLANNING NEXT YEAR S ACTIVITIES? If you re planning to hold a Double Reed Day, Oboe Day, Bassoon Day, English Horn Seminar or other type of master class in the coming year, please let me know. We would like to send you copies of our new brochure and some samples of the Double Reed so you can let your participants know about the IDRS. Send your requests to me: Norma R. Hooks, 2423 Lawndale Road Finksburg, MD Tell me when you would like to receive the brochures so I can put the date on my calendar. That way we can all be ahead of the game. Many times, by the time I see your announcement it s too late to send anything to you. FINANCES Our audit report for the year 2004 has been completed and is in the office. If you would like to have a copy of the report, please contact me. TEXAS MEMORIES By the time you read this issue the Austin conference will be but a memory. (Right now, that s the primary thing on my mind as I pack to make the trip tomorrow.) Before it becomes a distant memory, I want to say a sincere, heartfelt THANK YOU to Rebecca Henderson, Kristin Wolf- Jensen and the conference staff for all the hard work they have been doing for the past several years. I hope the conference will be a pleasant memory for you as you look back on it.
11 IDRS Sponsor-a-Member Program Nancy Ambrose King Ann Arbor, Michigan THE DOUBLE REED 9 The IDRS established a Sponsor-a-Member program in 1995 for the purpose of enabling double reed players from around the world to participate and enjoy the opportunities of membership in our organization through the sponsorship of current members. The primary purpose of the Sponsor-a-Member program is to attract to our society double reed players who because of economic circumstances would not otherwise be able to join the IDRS. This is an important outreach mission of our society. Since the program s inception, sponsored members from the Peoples Republic of China, Vietnam, Lithuania, Ecuador, El Salvador, Romania, Poland, the Czech Republic, Egypt, Ukraine, Tartartstan, Russia, and South Africa have become IDRS members through the generosity of sponsors. An additional aspect of the program has been the exchange of letters and communications between sponsors and new members. In coordination with Norma Hooks, Executive Secretary, I will be pairing sponsors with potential adopted members. IDRS will honor sponsors requests for specific adopted members as well. Anyone may become a sponsor by requesting an adopted member and paying one year s dues for that individual. Sponsors may elect to pay an additional fee for first-class postage so that publications arrive more promptly. IDRS is thankful to all sponsors who have participated in this worthwhile project in the past, and looks forward to new sponsors becoming active in the program. If you are interested in sponsoring a member, or know of a potential member who needs assistance, please contact me for more information at: Nancy Ambrose King University of Michigan School of Music 1100 Baits Dr. Ann Arbor, MI Sheryl Babcock - Romania James Brody - Poland Bill Chinworth - Kazakhstan Heidi DeWally - Argentina Susan Eischeid - Russia Terry Ewell - Poland Marc Fink - Russia Fox Products - Romania, Ukraine Glen Harman - Argentina Norma Hooks - China Yoshi Ishikawa - China Eugene Izotov & Tom Stacy - Russia SPONSORS Carlberg Jones - Mexico Richard Killmer - Russia Nancy Ambrose King - Argentina Ronald Klimko - Czech Republic Edward Knob - Argentina Laurel Kuxhaus - Argentina Stéphane Lévesque - Ukraine Susan Lundberg - Argentina Rebecca Nagel - Argentina Susan Nigro - Italy Isabelle Plaster - Russia Shirley Robertson - Argentina Donna Ronco - Russia David Ross - Argentina Michel Rossart - Argentina Kevin Shackell - Brazil Larry Singer - Russia David Sogg - Argentina Dan Stolper - England Ellen Sudia-Courdron - Russia John Towle - Argentina Chris Weait - Lithuania David Wheeler - Czech Republic Kristina Wright-Peterson - Argentina ASSOCIATE MEMBERS Australasian Double Reed Society (ADRS) British Double Reed Society(BDRS) Finnish Double Reed Society(FDRS) IDRS-Deutschlanda Netherlands Double Reed Society (NDRG) Japan Bassoon Society Japan Oboe Association Mägyar Fàgottos tarsasag (MAFAT) of Hungary Viennese Oboe Society (Gesellschaft der Freunde der Wiener Oboe) L Association Francaise du Hautbois (French Oboe Society) L Association bassons (French Bassoon Society) FagotClub Nederland
12 10 IDRS WWW IDRS WWW IDRS Forum - Classified ads IDRS members (business and individual) may post classified ads under the Forum heading Classified ads. This service is available for no fee to any IDRS member in good standing. Advertisements may appear in any form, and may include photos, price, links, etc... For additional information, please see <
13 Obituaries THE DOUBLE REED 11 Gwydion Brooke ( ) Kurt Michaelis ( ) Dr. Edmund Chester Williams ( ) GWYDION BROOKE ( ) The IDRS has learned that distinguished British bassoonist and IDRS Honorary Member Gwydion Brooke has died at the age of 93 on March 27, According to the obituary that appeared in the April 5, 2005, issue of the London Daily Telegraph, Gwydion Brooke was the last survivor of the exceptionally gifted team of wind players assembled by Sir Thomas Beecham when he founded the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in Among his colleagues were Dennis Brain (horn), Terence MacDonagh (oboe), Gerald Jackson (flute) and Jack Brymer (clarinet). After Beecham s death in 1961, Brooke became principal bassoonist in Walter Legge s Philharmonia Orchestra, where he remained until his retirement in His tone was highly individual, as can be heard on his recording of Weber s Concerto, made in 1947 with Malcolm Sargent conducting, and on his 1958 recording, with Beecham, of the Mozart Concerto. He also recorded JC Bach s Concerto and his own astonishing transcription of Mozart s G Major Violin Concerto. It was hearing Archie Camden s recording of the Mozart Concerto, made in 1926 using a German instrument, that led Brooke in 1930 to travel to Manchester, where Camden was principal with the Halle, to meet him. He returned with a new bassoon made by Adler, which he played for the next 49 years. He would not change it for a new one although by the 1960s he had to immerse it nightly in a bath to test for leaks. So many bits of it were replaced that no one else could play it. When it was stolen in although it was of no use to anyone else - he refused offers of replacements and gave up playing. Brooke was born Frederick James Gwydion Holbrooke at Kentford, Suffolk, on February He was the fourth of five children of the now neglected composer Josef Holbrooke, and when he was in his twenties he adopted the surname Brooke in order not to trade on his father s reputation. His father encouraged him to play the saxophone, but in 1925 bought him a French-system bassoon and found him a teacher. At the age of 16 he won a scholarship to the Royal Academy of Music. After a year he left to gain experience in the Hastings Municipal Orchestra conducted by his father s friend, Basil Cameron, and in the winter played under Cameron at Harrogate. He returned to the Academy to complete his studies in In 1932 Beecham founded the London Philharmonic Orchestra and appointed Brooke second bassoon to John Alexandra. Two years later he moved to the BBC Scottish Orchestra as principal, a position he held for four years. When war was declared in 1939 he joined the Army. He saw action at El Alamein, Tobruk and in the Italian campaign. On demobilisation, not having played an instrument for six years, Brooke joined the Liverpool Philharmonic. When Beecham came as a guest conductor, he was about to form the RPO and offered Brooke the post of principal bassoon. After Legge tried to disband the Philharmonia in 1964, Brooke was one of the players who formed a selfgoverning council to preserve the orchestra as the New Philharmonia. Although a man of few words, he never shied away from making himself heard. In the early 1970s, during a troubled period when Lorin Maazel was the principal conductor, Brooke gave him his marching orders, telling him: Mr Maazel, we all wish you well in Cleveland. In retirement, Brooke served as a trustee of the Beecham Trust and followed his hobby of repairing Renault cars. He also edited the scores and promoted recordings of his father s music. He died on March 27. Gwydion Brooke married, in 1961, Jean Graham; they had two sons. The IDRS joins the musical world in mourning the passing of one of the most distinguished British bassoonists. KURT MICHAELIS ( ) Born: Berlin, Germany, October 13, 1913 Died: Goshen, New York, March 28, 2005 Kurt Michaelis died on March 28, 2005 after a protracted illness. Kurt was an oboist, Holocaust survivor, opera-lover, and long-time member
14 12 OBITUARIES of the New York musical community. Born in Germany, Kurt performed from with the Berlin Judische Kulturbund Orchestra. This was an organization sanctioned by the Nazi government for Jewish musicians who were denied the privilege of performing in regular orchestras and ensembles. After barely escaping from Europe with his life, Kurt emigrated to the United States where he performed with the New Orleans Symphony, the Kansas City Philharmonic, and the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo. After World War II, when many American servicemen and oboists returned to the U.S. musical scene, Kurt decided to concentrate his efforts in the area of music publishing. He worked for 12 years with the G. Schirmer Company in New York, and from 1959 to 2001 (!) for the C.W. PETERS Corporation. Kurt s oboe, which he played during his time in Germany, is a part of the permanent exhibit at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. To date, it has been seen by over 20 million people. An oboe scholarship fund has been set up in Kurt s memory at Valdosta State University. He will be missed. DR. EDMUND CHESTER WILLIAMS ( ) Dr. Edmund Chester Williams died peacefully at home, surrounded by his family on March 23, 2005 at the age of 68 after a courageous and victorious battle with ALS. He was born in El Reno, OK on March 10, 1937 to Edmund J. and Genevieve Felicia Williams who preceded him in death. Dr. Williams graduated from El Reno High School, and received his Bachelors, Masters and Doctorate in Music Education from the University of Illinois at Urbana- Champaign. He had a deep love for music, and was a gifted performer, energetic teacher and expressive conductor who devoted his life to bringing the joy and beauty of music to thousands. Countless students and listeners have benefited from Dr. Williams lifelong work and passion for music. While at the University of Illinois, Dr. Williams played oboe, English horn and bassoon in the Concert Band, Symphony Orchestra and numerous performing ensembles. Edmund was also Drum Major of the Marching Illini band for four years. He was a member of the U.S. Air Force Band and Orchestra in Washington, D.C., and performed in the Richmond (VA), Norfolk (VA) and Champaign-Urbana (IL) Symphonies. He performed extensively with many woodwind ensembles, and was a frequent soloist in numerous venues. Most recently, Edmund was a member of the Crossings Community Church (Oklahoma City, OK) orchestra. Dr. Williams was a distinguished music educator, having taught oboe, English horn, bassoon and conducting throughout his life. He held teaching and conducting positions at the University of Illinois, University of Pittsburgh, Kansas State Teachers College (Emporia, KS), Southwestern State University (Weatherford, OK) and California State University Fullerton. He taught in the Putnam City School System (Oklahoma City, OK) and the Oklahoma Summer Arts Institute (Quartz Mountain, OK), and led the Arts Encounter Orchestra (Bartlesville, OK). An acclaimed conductor at the professional, university, church, young adult and youth levels, Dr. Williams skillfully and energetically led orchestras, bands and choirs throughout the country including the Washington (DC) Chamber Ensemble; the Oklahoma Symphony Orchestra; the Pasadena Symphony Orchestra; many Oklahomaarea youth orchestras, camps and festivals; and the Inspiration Point Fine Arts Colony Chamber and Opera Orchestras at Eureka Springs, AR. Dr. Williams was a member of the Kappa Kappa Psi, Tau Beta Sigma and Phi Mu Alpha professional music fraternities. He was a member of the Oklahoma Music Educators Association (OMEA), and was elected to the prestigious OMEA Hall of Fame in 2002 for his outstanding contributions in education.
15 Arthur L. Gudwin ( ) Terry Ewell Towson, Maryland THE DOUBLE REED 13 Arthur L. Gudwin, M.D., passed away on March 1, 2005 due to complications following surgery to remove a brain tumor at age 67. Dr. Gudwin practiced medicine for over 35 years as a general and vascular surgeon and served as Chief of Vascular Surgery at North Arundel Hospital. Among his contributions to numerous medical societies, Dr. Gudwin served as President of Anne Arundel County Medical Society, and on the Advisory Council of Conquer Cancer in Anne Arundel County. Following his retirement in 1999, Dr. Gudwin pursued his passion for music and talent as a musician. Dr. Gudwin played clarinet from the fourth grade until the Art Gudwin second year of medical school when he was touched by a magic spell in the form of Stravinsky s Octet For Wind Instruments. He was to become a perpetual student of the bassoon and, later, the contrabassoon. In 1960 David Carroll was his first teacher and Dr. Gudwin was Carroll s first student. More recently he studied with Phillip Kolker of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. Dr. Gudwin was principal bassoon for the Anne Arundel Community College Orchestra and the local quintet Gone With The Winds, and also played with Baltimore Philharmonia Orchestra, and the Columbia Orchestra. Dr. Gudwin was a long-standing member of the International Double Reed Society, which published several of his articles in the International Reed Journal on such topics as reed making and the belly guard, a mechanism he invented for playing the bassoon while standing. He was an avid and regular participant of the annual Glickman-Popkin Bassoon Camp in North Carolina. Dr. Gudwin was a talent - as a vascular surgeon, a concert bassoonist, an amateur stunt pilot, sailor and photographer. His intellect, wit and dedication to patients, community, family, friends and music will be missed. He is the beloved husband of 40 years to Patricia, cherished father of Cory and Peter and grandfather of Max. (Reprinted from MEMORIES OF ARTHUR GUDWIN Art and Patti Gudwin were marvelous supporters of the International Double Reed Society. Their financial support made possible the world premier of the Paquito D Rivera s Dust and Dreams performed by Joseph Robinson, Richard Svoboda, and chamber musicians at the opening evening concert of the IDRS 2002 Conference in Banff, Alberta, Canada. You will read below about their further support of double reed activities through the years. For me, however, the loss is felt more personally. I enjoyed the company of Art and Patti in my home just a month prior to his unfortunate death. We had a wonderful musical gathering together with friends that I will treasure in my memories. I will miss Art s enthusiasm for bassoon and contrabassoon and his fellowship. Terry Ewell Art s crab feast [at the IDRS 1991 conference] was a memorable event. The weather was perfect. Art and Patti welcomed us into their home and shortly after we arrived, we
16 14 ARTHUR L. GUDWIN ( ) went around to the back yard which has a magnificent view overlooking the Severn River that eventually flows into the Chesapeake Bay. Art invited a group of us out for a cruise in one of his favorite power boats. It was a rather large boat which held about passengers. When we got into open water, Art decided to open the throttle full speed as we headed for a large bridge barely visible in the distance. I do not know how fast we were going, but his boat could really slice through the calm waters of the bay. After reaching the bridge he decided to turn back, but as we turned, there was a water patrol boat coming toward us full speed with lights flashing. It apparently had been trying to catch up with us for some time. The water police pulled along side the boat and reprimanded Art for exceeding the speed limit. I believe he received a warning ticket, but the incident certainly did not dampen his wonderful enthusiasm nor his delightful crab feast. That was Art - he had such a verve for life. Throughout the evening we enjoyed the culinary delights from Art s grill and the sounds of bassoon ensembles continually wafting from the screened-in porch. The hosts, the atmosphere, the moonlit view, the sounds, the camaraderie, the weather, and the food were all so perfect and memorable - it was dreamlike. Thanks Art, we will miss you. Gene Griswold Art Gudwin was one of IDRS s most solid supporters. He attended many conferences and his presence was felt by all who came in contact with him. He was warm, gregarious, and interested in all things bassoon related. As an amateur he loved the instrument and loved being with people who played it, whether professional or amateur. I am sad that an idea we had never came to fruition. He and I talked about playing a trio concert with Arthur Weisberg and dubbing ourselves The Three Arts. It would have been fun, and Art loved fun. We will all miss him greatly, and I would like to extend my most sincere condolences to his lovely wife, Patti. Arthur Grossman I met Art Gudwin at a couple of Contrabassoon Festivals in Park City, Utah. He was a delight. He contributed greatly to the technical discussions. We got to play a couple of Contra duets. He had such enthusiasm for the instrument. It greatly increased my enjoyment of the event having him there. He will be missed by many. Boyd Osgood. How much more can the bassoon world stand! Art is remembered for many wonderful times, musical and non musical. He and Patti have been gracious hosts, wonderful supporters of the arts, Art a very good bassoonist and organizer of a lot of chamber music activities. But most of all just a very good, interesting, and wonderful person who will be dearly missed in many fronts and numerous ways, small and large! Gail Warnaar The repertoire for the 2006 Fernand Gillet - Hugo Fox Bassoon Competition has been selected. The repertoire is: 1) Otmar Nussio: Variations on an Air by Pergolesi (Universal Edition, UE12182, with repeats) 2) J. S. Bach: Cello Suite #2 in D Minor. (Any Edition, Prelude, Allemande, and Courante only; with repeats.) 3) Alexandre Tansman: Sonatine (Max Eschig, ME 6657, without repeats) 4) W. A. Mozart: Sonata, K. 292 (Required edition: Bärenreiter, BA 6974, without repeats in the 1st and 2nd movement, with repeats in the 3rd movement )** **To be performed with bassoon and piano. Note that Bärenreiter lists this as being for violoncello and piano.** My thanks go to Michael Burns and Stéphane Levesque, members of the Gillet - Fox Advisory Committee, for their help in selecting repertoire. Full details of the competition will be available in the next issue of The Double Reed, and will be available on the IDRS website and mailed to IDRS members in the near future.
17 THE DOUBLE REED 15 International Double Reed Society Membership Application For the calendar year of January 1 - December 31 of New Renewal Please TYPE or PRINT (You may also renew/apply on-line at: Name (Last) (First) Address: (Students should use home address to assure receipt of publication) (City) (State/Province) (Postal Code) (Country) Phone (Area) (Number) Business Phone Fax Number Address Instrument(s): Profession or affiliation: (orchestra, school, business) ANNUAL DUES $ Regular Member $ Student Member $ Institutional Subscriber CONTRIBUTING MEMBERS $ & Up Benefactor Member $ Patron Member $ Donor Member $ Sustaining Member (For first class postage, add $35.00) Methods of Payment Check, bank draft, or money order enclosed Charge to Visa/Mastercard account below Card Account Number 3 Digit Security Code Expiration Date (Back of Card) Print name as it appears on credit card (Signature required for Credit Card payment only) MAKE PAYMENT PAYABLE TO THE IDRS IN US$ FREE OF CHARGES TO THE PAYEE. ALL CHECKS SHOULD BE DRAWN ON A US BANK IN US DOLLARS. Mail application and payment to: Norma R. Hooks, Executive Secretary/Treasurer International Double Reed Society 2423 Lawndale Road Finksburg, MD USA Phone (410) FAX (410)
18 16 THE DOUBLE REED Current Events
19 THE DOUBLE REED 17 Double Reeds in the Far North Celebrate in 2005: Anything Can Happen Antero Ojanto Vantaa, Finland Question: What is blue and white, is twenty years old, and has 482 thumbs and 1928 fingers? Answer: It is, of course, the Finnish Double Reed Society, which will be celebrating its birthday in Tampere, its place of birth, over the weekend of November 18-20, But before its birth, there was a long gestation period. The IDRS held its first conference outside North America in Edinburgh in We Finns were the largest group of participants from the Continent. Encouraged by this response, Jarmo Korhonen, bassoonist in the Turku Philharmonic but originally from my hometown of Vantaa, asked me to draw up a constitution for a Finnish Bassoon Society. However, a lack of enthusiasm among the professionals in the Helsinki area and an unfortunate misunderstanding by musicians union activists led to a long drawn out stillbirth. There are in fact still no similar societies in the other Nordic countries. Following the next IDRS conference in Europe, which was in Graz, Austria in 1984, Korhonen and his non-capital city colleagues decided to act. A general invitation was sent out. Forty oboists and bassoonists met in the music school in Tampere on October 5, 1985 for the founding meeting of Suomen Oboe- ja Fagottiseura r.y. (Finnish Double Reed Society). The amended bassoon society constitution was adopted and a decision was made to immediately apply for registration as a charitable society (the initials r.y. after the name). Timo Nevalainen was elected chairman of the meeting and then of the executive committee, which had representatives from five different cities, including Helsinki. The founding meeting had been well prepared by the Turku and Tampere double-reeders. The evening concert following the meeting featured the whole instrument family; oboe, cor anglais, bassoon and contra. Christian Davidsson from Sweden, who had won the IDRS bassoon competition that same year was the special guest artist. Nevalainen proved to be an excellent choice as chairman for the first five years and as a committee member afterwards. As professor of pathology at the University of Turku, and as such much used by the World Health Organization, he gave the new Society class in the eyes of the outside world. As a non- Helsinki area amateur - he has written loads of arrangements for bassoon and double reed ensembles - he was acceptable to all parties in professional circles. Demo by double reed magician Eugen Saanpere (Estonia) at FDRS happening. The early years of the Society and the growth of membership numbers coincided with the turnover of personnel to a new generation in the major orchestras, the formation of the Tapiola Sinfonietta and the orchestra of the National Opera, as well as the transformation of several semi-pro orchestras into professional orchestras in the smaller cities and towns. There have naturally been ups and downs in the Society s level of activities over the years. The professional musicians on the executive committee have often been burdened by foreign study tours and even employment abroad as well as by membership on local orchestral committees and labor union activities. Therefore a working balance of professionals and enthusiastic amateurs has helped keep the Society going. As a fairly small society of specialists with only a shoestring budget, the only way forward was active cooperation with orchestras, music schools, and festivals. The very first year set the pattern of CURRENT EVENTS
20 18 DOUBLE REEDS IN THE FAR NORTH CELEBRATE IN 2005: ANYTHING CAN HAPPEN CURRENT EVENTS activities for the following years. A spring happening includes the annual general meeting. There is also an autumn happening. These happenings are usually held in different towns and tied to a local concert of interest. For instance, our twentieth birthday celebrations this autumn will begin with the first performance by the Tampere Philharmonic of Jouni Kaipainen s Bassoon Concerto with Otto Virtanen, a finalist in the Gillet-Fox competition in Tempe, as soloist. Only a limited number of the older generation of musicians had a chance to study abroad. It has been easier for the younger generation to participate in summer courses around Europe. Nevertheless, helping to arrange training sessions in Finland for both music students and professionals has been our most important contribution to musical life in our country. We began at the highest level with Ray Still s oboe master class in our very first year, which we advertised to our membership. We also looked after the evening get-together. The list of international soloists to receive this FDRS treatment over the years is quite impressive. I would especially like to mention the lectures by Alan Fox and the several meetings with the late Karl Öhlberger, our only foreign honorary member. The Crusell Week Festival, which is held every year in the little town of Uusikaupunki at the end of July, was already an unofficial meeting place for our members, as the festival concentrates on woodwind music. It also arranges master classes and has organised a number of competitions, such as this summer s international oboe competition. Establishment of our Society simply formalised a channel for cooperating in arranging concerts, courses and competitions. This has happily continued every year and is normally the third official happening of the year. The informal atmosphere of the festival contributes to creativity. Uki (after the name of the town) has seen the birth of the (in)famous FDRS big band that plays swing, jazz and rock arrangements. At last the owners of musettes, d amores and the like can let their hair down. In previous years, we played a number of sardanas, the ancient double-reed dances from Catalonia. All this, of course, is in addition to the classical repertoire we rehearse when we get together. A major effort was the Society s CD of music for oboes and bassoons written by Finnish composers and played by the Society s members. Architect and oboist Martti Pesonen carried the heaviest burden in this production in Details of the pieces are available on the FDRS web-site The Society has also published a biography of its honorary member, the 80-year-old grand-old-man of Finnish bassoonists, Emanuel Elola entitled A bassoonist is always a gentleman Honorary members of the FDRS and noted bassoon teachers Karl Öhlberger (l. Vienna) and Emanuel Elola (r. Helsinki). (that is how he admonished every student leaving on a foreign study tour to behave). For most members though, the Society is the same as the quarterly magazine called Rööri, which is Finnish musicians slang for a reed. For many years, the secretary was also the treasurer and the editor. Now these tasks have been distributed among several persons. During the first years, we put the bulletin together on an ad hoc working group basis, with most of the burden on Markku Klemola, an oboist and music school teacher. Jaana Norio-Timonen, a lawyer and oboist who is our current chairman, joined the committee in 1989 and was enticed to become the Secretary and Editor two years later. She brought greatly needed discipline into the process and continued as the Society s treasurer after a new editor was named in Our foreign friends often ask us when we will host the annual conference of the IDRS. Certainly at this moment, the realistic answer is that - since our membership numbers have reached a plateau, sponsorship money is not forthcoming, and our conservatories do not have campuses - we simply do not have the necessary resources. But during the next twenty years anything can happen.
21 Western Kentucky University Hosts Double Reed Day Jennifer Gottfried Bowling Green, Kentucky THE DOUBLE REED 19 When one hears the words gouging, scraping, and cutting, one probably thinks of torture and pain, but on Western s campus on January 29th these words were far from that to the ears of the oboists and bassoonists visiting campus for the Western Kentucky University Double Reed Day. Gouging, scraping, and cutting were words used by Dr. Michele Fiala and her students as they demonstrated techniques used to make oboe and bassoon reeds. Twenty-eight high-school students, junior-high students, and teachers came from two states to Western s campus to participate in the event. The day was full of masterclasses, recitals, repair WKU student Vicki Thompson demonstrates a bassoon shaper. and maintenance classes, and exhibits. The featured guest artists were Joseph Salvalaggio, Roger Soren, and Larry Long. Miller Marketing Co. brought an exhibit with instruments for sale and supplies for double reed instrumentalists. The day began with a brief performance by the WKU Double Reed Ensemble. The group played a piece entitled Reediculous that was written for them by composer Christopher Kelley. The work is scored for two oboes, an English horn, and two bassoons. This comical piece set the mood for what would be a delightful day of music and learning. After the performance, Larry Long held a maintenance and repair class for oboists and bassoonists. Mr. Long is a the coowner and repair technician of Opus Horn A visiting high school student examines a piece of cane. Repair in Bowling Green, Kentucky as well as being a bassoonist with the Owensboro Symphony and assistant principal bassoonist of the Bowling Green Chamber Orchestras. In his class, he discussed Louisville Orchestra since 1989 and how to properly care for instruments. He demonstrated how is the instructor of contrabassoon at to fix small problems on your own instrument, but other Indiana University in Bloomington. problems he urged people to not try to fix, as more damage Later in the day, he gave a bassoon could result from such an attempt. masterclass, in which the WKU Bassoonists were in for a real treat, as they had the bassoon students and outside opportunity to hear Roger Soren demonstrate contrabassoon participants performed. He worked techniques. Not many bassoonists play the contrabassoon on with them particularly on phrasing a regular basis, so to get this much exposure to the instrument and musicality as well as other topics was a delight to those present. Mr. Soren has been the related to bassoon technique. CURRENT EVENTS
22 20 WESTERN KENTUCKY UNIVERSITY HOSTS DOUBLE REED DAY CURRENT EVENTS An oboe masterclass was taught by Canadian oboist Joseph Salvalaggio, who is currently the principal oboist for the Memphis Symphony Orchestra. In the masterclass, several of Dr. Fiala s students performed for Mr. Salvalaggio, including myself. His comments were extremely helpful and gave me new insight on how the piece should be performed. Mr. Salvalaggio also held an oboe techniques class. He addressed posture, hand position, and embouchure. There was one exercise that he had us do in which he played an A and passed it to an oboist. When the pitches matched, that oboist passed the A to another oboist. The exercise forced us to listen carefully and match pitch and tone. Later that day, Dr. Michele Fiala and several of the college students in her studio demonstrated reed making equipment purchased for the Music Department at WKU. Dr. Fiala is assistant professor of oboe, bassoon and music theory at WKU. She emphasized the importance of making your own reeds and learning how to adjust them. The day ended with a recital featuring Mr. Salvalaggio and Mr. Soren, assisted by Alesia Speer on piano and Dr. Fiala on English horn. Mr. Salvalaggio performed Concerto for oboe by Bohuslav Martinu and Le Api for oboe and piano by Antonino Pasculli. I have never heard anyone play that many notes that quickly! His technique was flawless and his circular breathing had me absolutely floored. Mr. Soren performed Sonata for Bassoon and Piano by Paul Hindemith as well as Carl Maria von Weber Concerto in F major for bassoon. They too were spectacular. His sound and musicality are amazing. Mr. Salvalaggio and Mr. Soren teamed up with Dr. Fiala to play an arrangement of W.A. Mozart s Divertimento #4 for Oboe, Bassoon, and English Horn. All in all, the day was an invigorating and refreshing experience. Dr. Fiala plans to make the WKU Double Reed Day an annual event, and hopefully bring even more double reed players to WKU. Michele Fiala shows an oboe shaper to the participants. WKU student Megan Wheat instructs high school student Josh Hall in the use of an oboe gouger. Guest artists, host, and WKU students. From left to right: Jennifer Gottfried, Jeremiah Bush, Joseph Salvalaggio, Michele Fiala, Vicki Thompson, Roger Soren, and Megan Wheat.
23 THE DOUBLE REED 21 The Patrick McFarland English Horn Master Class, April 4, 2005, Carlisle, Pennsylvania Marsha Burkett Carlisle, Pennsylvania CURRENT EVENTS L to R: Louis Rosenblatt, Patrick McFarland, Marsha Burkett and Earnest Harrison THE PATRICK MCFARLAND ENGLISH HORN MASTERCLASS presents An Evening of Chamber Music for Double Reeds at St. John s Episcopal Church On The Square Carlisle, Pennsylvania Sunday, April 4th, 2005 at 7:00 pm A Klezmer s Wedding...Curtis The Double Reeds Consort Jill Marchione - oboe, Ed Stanley - oboe d amore, Marsha Burkett - English horn, Truman Bullard - bassoon Am Bach im Fruhling...Schubert/ arr. by Renate Rosenblatt Patrick McFarland - English horn, Renate Rosenblatt - piano
24 22 THE PATRICK MCFARLAND ENGLISH HORN MASTER CLASS, APRIL 4, 2005, CARLISLE, PENNSYLVANIA Three Romances...Tschaikovsky/ arr. by Renate Rosenblatt Patrick McFarland - English horn, Renate Rosenblatt - piano Two Songs...Mozart Das Lied der Trennung Un moto di Giola mi Sento Earnest Harrison - oboe, Phyllis Harrison - piano CURRENT EVENTS Siciliana...Head Earnest Harrison - oboe, Phyllis Harrison - piano Roundelay...Richardson Earnest Harrison - oboe, Phyllis Harrison - piano French Suite...Richardson Earnest Harrison - oboe, Phyllis Harrison - piano Omaggio A Bellini ~ Duetto per Corno Inglese e Arpa...Pasculli Patrick McFarland - English horn, Elizabeth Asmus - harp Pie Jesu...Webber Earnest Harrison - oboe, Patrick McFarland - English horn Grande Finale Selections...TBA Robert Pound - Music Director, John Angle - Organ, Masterclass teachers, participants, and guests. A special THANK YOU to the following people: Rev. Mark Schenemann, Lynn Kintz, Dennis Burkett, Paul & Stella Danish, Bethann Buletza, Rob Woodworth, Truman Bullard, Pat Snoke, Jeff O Donnell, Robert Pound, Elizabeth Asmus, friends, family, & colleagues for supporting Music and the Arts. This evening s recital is part of a two day educational program on the English horn. Participants have traveled here from Canada and throughout the United States to study and further enhance their skills on this instrument. Master teachers, lecturers, and guest artists for the program include: PATRICK MCFARLAND has played with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra since 1964, having held the position of Solo English horn since Prior to then, he played with the Lyric Opera of Chicago and the Florida Symphony Orchestra in Orlando. He has produced two English horn CD recordings, Diversions for English horn and Gems for English horn featuring his playing. Both feature works in various settings with strings, other woodwinds and piano. The latter recording features the Ferlendis/Kraus Concerto for English horn with orchestra. He can also be heard on the many Telarc recordings with the Atlanta Symphony notably the Music for the Theater by Aaron Copland, the Shostakovitch 8th Symphony, the William Tell Overture by Rossini and the Swan of Tuonela by Sibelius. Besides music, Pat also enjoys big band music (often sitting in on Bari Sax), tennis, ballroom dancing and traveling, especially on ocean liners and has served as a Gentleman Host (doing ballroom dancing) on many ships including the Queen Elizabeth II and the new Queen Mary II. LOUIS ROSENBLATT is a graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Through the 1950 s, Louis was principal
25 THE DOUBLE REED 23 oboe of the United States Army Field Band, solo English horn of the Houston Symphony, and solo English horn of the New Orleans Philharmonic. From , Louis held the position of solo English horn and oboist in the Philadelphia Orchestra. He has been a participant in the Marlboro Music Festival and the Tanglewood Music Institute. Since 1960 and continuing today, Louis has been adjunct professor of oboe at Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. RENATE ROSENBLATT earned her Bachelor of Music degree at Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Her piano studies included Joseph Schwartz and Vladimir Sokoloff. Renate has been a participant in the Marlboro Music Festival. She is a composer, arranger, and pianist. Renate and Louis have made their home in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and have composed, arranged, and performed chamber music together over the years. Patrick McFarland performed some arrangements by Renate Rosenblatt, who accompanied him on piano. CURRENT EVENTS EARNEST HARRISON comes from Missouri and studied oboe with Robert Sprenkle at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York. While a student at Eastman, he played in the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra. Through the years, he held the position of principal oboist of the Houston Symphony, the San Antonio Symphony, and the National Symphony in Washington, D.C. In 1966 he joined the music staff at Louisiana State University along with performing with the Baton Rouge Symphony. PHYLLIS HUNTER HARRISON, is from West Virginia and a graduate of the Eastman School of Music where she earned her degree in studying piano. Phyllis and Earnest both served in the United States Navy. They enjoy teaching and performing chamber music together in their hometown of Baton Rouge, Louisiana and throughout the United States. JOHN SYMER, Master Repairman earned his master s degree in oboe performance at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York. Although he continues to free-lance on oboe and English horn in the Philadelphia area, Louis Rosenblatt showed a box of saved English horn reeds, which he offered to class participants.
26 24 THE PATRICK MCFARLAND ENGLISH HORN MASTER CLASS, APRIL 4, 2005, CARLISLE, PENNSYLVANIA he owns and operates a thriving instrument repair business in Collingswood, New Jersey. Participants for the English horn masterclass and recital include: CURRENT EVENTS Pennsylvania - Cecelia Sullivan, Alexa Wolfe, Steve Malarskey, Edward Fritsch, Andrew Parker, Marti Hess, Kim Webster, Henry Grabb, Fiona Geiser, Christina Schmidt, Carol Mack, Nancy Gaspari, Richard DeMott, Jill Marchione, Ed Stanley, Jeff O Donnell, Beth Benson, Marsha Burkett; Maryland - Kim Kelley, Robert Huffman, Martina Houmann, Kim Myers; Missouri - Paul Orland, Barbara Orland; Delaware - Tim Clinch; New York - Shelly Zeiser, Lois Barton, Chris Kerensky; California - Debbie Busch, Peter Lemberg; Michigan - Ann Lemke; New Hampshire - Kathy DiCola; Minnesota - Dana Donnay; Ontario, Canada - Maggie Keller, Nigel Robbins; North Carolina - Donny Gibson. Patrick McFarland demonstrated the Swamp Bird to master class participants. The Barbirolli International Oboe Festival and Competition on the Isle of Man, August 2005, will include masterclasses, recitals and lectures. Further information is available from: Barbirolli Oboe Secretariat Erin Arts Centre Victoria Square Port Erin, Isle of Man IM9 6LD (UK). Telephone: 44(0) Or download an application form at:
27 My Third Master Class Invitation to Costa Rica Gerald Corey Ottawa, Ontario, Canada What a great time of the year, March , to visit one of my favorite countries! Temperatures of minus 40 were felt in Ottawa as we left. Costa Rica enjoys a year around average temperature of 78 F.! My longtime colleague and friend Prof. Isabel Jeremias Lafuente had invited me to return for my third time to the Department of Music, University of Costa Rica, in San José. My teaching week included a full recital, three master class days, two reed making days and two full days of private lessons. I taught all of the bassoon students and three students of the oboe class too. The bassoon class included: Alfredo Cobo, Ana Tona, José Pablo Valverde, Judith Arguedas, Cindy Bolandi, Laura Valerio, Rita Agudelo and visiting former student and professional, Fernando Zuñiga who was also my best translator. I also enjoyed meeting the new oboe professor, José Angel Ábrego and his fine class: Isaac Alfero, Indira Quintero, Juan Salvador Chin and Miriam Padilla. Ms. Laura Castro, a delight to work with, accompanied me superbly. My recital programme included: Sonata for Bassoon and Piano - Alvin Etler Capriccio for Solo Bassoon - Maya Badian Sonata for Bassoon and Piano - Romeo Cascarino Concerto KV 191 in Bb for Bassoon by W. A. Mozart (piano accompaniment version) Cadenzas by Edouard Flament, J. Walter Guetter and Gerald Corey THE DOUBLE REED 25 During our reed making classes, we studied new tube forming methods (using Lou Skinner center panel scoring of the reed s tube sections) holding the folded/wrapped reed tube section in steam. Steam introduced into the fibers of arundo donax changes the vascular bundles from the natural formed chaotic patterns to a more aligned straight pattern, better for vibration in music performance.we also tested new scraping patterns and voicing of reeds, helping every student better understand the theory and practice of bassoon reed making. In our master class sessions I was impressed by the fine tone quality of all the participating students and their high level of musical understanding. By pointing out a few interpretation ideas to each student I think the overall results showed great musical improvement. At the end of the intense week of good hard work, Prof. Jeremias arranged a party for the entire bassoon and oboe classes - a perfect ending to a fine week in Costa Rica. Many orchestra stories were exchanged between the Costa Rican teachers, the students and myself. The closing ritual exchange of addresses made the assurance of future contact between all of the participants very easy. CURRENT EVENTS I was especially pleased after my recital to hear the feedback from each bassoon student of Prof. Jeremias. They all appreciated the chance to hear the Capriccio of Maya Badian, saying that the piece was especially interesting, easy to understand and unusual because of the new music techniques employed by the composer (fluttertonguing, micro intervals, glissandi, etc.). Every student wanted a copy of the Badian solo Capriccio. (Any IDRS reader wanting to purchase a copy of the piece may contact the author, Gerald Corey by Bassoon professor Gerald Corey; oboe professor José Angel Ábrego; oboist Isaac Alfero; bassoonist Fernando Zuñega; bassoon professor Isabel Jeremias Lafuente; bassoonist Cindy Bolandi and bassoonist Alfredo Cobo.
28 26 THE DOUBLE REED Articles
29 THE DOUBLE REED 27 Contemporary Russian Music for Bassoon Part 1: Sonatas for Solo and Accompanied Bassoon Tama I. Kott, Mt. Berry, Georgia Olga Haldey, Columbia, Missouri It is almost commonplace to say that Russian composers wrote exceptionally well for bassoon. For the past one hundred and fifty years, performers from around the world have been exhilarated and frustrated by the scores of Rimsky-Korsakov, Tchaikovsky, Stravinsky, Prokofiev, and Shostakovich who all wrote prodigiously and marvelously for that instrument. Unfortunately, outside of Prokofiev and Shostakovich s scores, little is known to this day about the bassoon repertory in Soviet and post-soviet Russia. The only English-language publication that has specifically addressed contemporary Russian music for bassoon was a 1996 article in the IDRS Journal by Jeffrey Lyman titled After Shostakovich, What Next?: New Russian Soviet Music for Bassoon. 1 An invaluable source of information about a virtually unexplored repertory, Lyman s discussion, however, seems to be limited both geographically and stylistically: it is focused on a small group of Moscow composers that write in a style commonly designated as avant-garde. Our goal is to widen the scope of the inquiry in order to incorporate a larger pool of music that was either written outside the capital or exemplifies a different compositional approach. Furthermore, we intend to provide readers with a comprehensive framework of compositional styles and trends that would allow them to understand and appreciate the stylistic diversity of late 20th-century Russian bassoon repertoire. Since the late 19th century, two distinct composition schools have existed in Russia the St. Petersburg or Leningrad School and the Moscow School. The St. Petersburg School founded by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov and his students tends to promote cool, restrained lyricism, and a strong sense of structure; it generally contains a highly intellectual approach to composition. In addition, it instills a great respect for the classical heritage and traditions; consequently, the composers raised within its tenets tend to exhibit an inherent conservatism of compositional technique. The musical style born in Russia s northern capital is highly recognizable it is commonly referred to as the Petersburg music. Its imagery, born in the strange Russian city 2 of fog and mist, canals and white nights, gravitates towards the dark, mystical, phantasmagorical, and grotesque. This quality of Petersburg s style makes the low wind timbres, with their propensity towards the grotesque, particularly important to the city s composers, as evident in the orchestral scores of Tchaikovsky and Shostakovich who trained there. The Moscow School, founded by Tchaikovsky s students, encourages the passionate, dramatic, emotional expressivity they inherited from their mentor. As a result, the neo-romantic movement found fertile ground among that city s composers throughout the 20th century. Recently, Moscow s neo- Romanticists have begun to exhibit a marked interest in Russian Orthodoxinspired spirituality; this interest enters their works in forms both subtle and direct. Consequently, these composers prove most responsive towards certain trends in minimalist music that has been making headway in Russia over the past twenty years. Some Muscovites tend to be more compositionally adventurous than their Northern colleagues; their musical language is more open to structural and technical experimentation. While many of Moscow s composers continue to explore neo-romantic and minimalist spirituality, others have been steadily experimenting with edgier styles and techniques associated with the Darmstadt School and American abstraction. This last group mainly includes the young students and acolytes of the eminent master of the avant-garde Edison Denisov. The direction taken by these composers in writing for bassoon (the resulting repertoire constitutes the focus of Lyman s article) has been impacted significantly by the strong presence of Valerii Popov, professor of bassoon at the Moscow Conservatory. Popov is a virtuoso performer with an insatiable appetite for the avantgarde. He commissioned a significant portion of the existing repertoire, and single-handedly helped shape the style of these commissions by expecting technical brilliance and an abundance of extended playing techniques. The St. Petersburg School, not driven by the presence of a single solo performer, tends to shy away from technical virtuosity towards a more refined, intimate treatment of the instrument, while exploring both the lyrical and the sinister facets of its musical personality. Current St. Petersburg composers tend to concentrate on chamber repertoire favored by the city s musicians, at the expense of orchestral genres and virtuoso showpieces. As distinct as the Moscow and
30 28 CONTEMPORARY RUSSIAN MUSIC FOR BASSOON PART 1: SONATAS FOR SOLO AND ACCOMPANIED BASSOON St. Petersburg schools are in their general approach to musical composition and in their treatment specifically of bassoon, it would be a simplification to assign all contemporary Russian composers to one of these two categories. Some modern bassoon compositions could be placed somewhere in between, exhibiting characteristics typical of both schools. The stylistic crossover is common due to several important influences shared by most Russian musicians. Among the most significant of these influences has been Dmitri Shostakovich. A Leningrad-trained master who later settled in Moscow, throughout his career Shostakovich would mentor the young composers of both schools. Other influences include Prokofiev and, increasingly, Stravinsky. Stravinsky s music began to become available in Russia in the aftermath of his historic 1962 visit, and understandably proved to be an irresistible attraction to young composers in both Moscow and Leningrad. The 1960s, the years of relative political and artistic tolerance saw several historic tours by the likes of Glenn Gould and Leonard Bernstein; these visits helped bring Russian musicians into contact with an array of contemporary Western music previously unavailable. This included, but was not limited to dodecaphonic music of the 2nd Viennese School, and the more recent experiments of the Darmstadt composers in serialism, aleatorics, microtonality, and electronics. Apart from common influences both inside Russia and abroad, the stylistic affinities sometimes found among Russian composers of diverse professional lineage may be explained by their common interest in other artistic and cultural trends of the 1950s, 60s, and 70s. Perhaps the most significant of these trends was the neo-folklorist movement that saw scores of musicians from both capitals going into the countryside conducting ethnomusicological field research into the rich heritage of Russian folk song. Stylistic elements found in that repertoire modality and microtonality, vocal heterophony, non-triadic harmony and tone clusters all found their way into these composers works. The regional differences between the Northern and South-Western Russian folk traditions may be discerned in the folklore-inspired compositions that originated in the two capitals. The landscape of contemporary Russian music for bassoon becomes even more complex as we consider composers from the Russian provinces and former Soviet Republics. Most of them were either trained in one of the two capitals, or benefited from the Moscow or Leningrad education of their mentors. As such, these composers have been shaped, to a degree, by the influence of the two major schools. Meanwhile, geographical isolation made an equally significant impact on their compositional styles. Working in the provinces imposed a virtual isolation almost incomprehensible to an American musician: poor communication and transportation systems, meager funding of local music organizations and indifference of local officials meant little access to colleagues and no access to new scores and recordings, even those of the Russian origin (access to new Western music was virtually impossible outside of the capitals). Likewise, the local cultural and artistic phenomena including much regional folk music had little opportunity to reach the capitals. Consequently, the musical repertoire from the Russian provinces is typically more conservative, influenced by the 19th-century Romantic tradition, by local folklore, or by more stylistically advanced works of big-city colleagues. At the same time, the best of this repertoire exhibits an engaging spirit of originality and freshness of approach equally engendered by exile. There is an exceptional wealth and variety of contemporary Russian bassoon literature, in its genre coverage, range of musical styles, and quality of musical material. In order to address the repertoire in an orderly fashion, it is necessary to divide it into several sections dealing with genre and instrumentation. The remainder of this article will discuss sonatas and other compositions of a similar type (such as sonatinas and suites) for solo bassoon, bassoon ensemble, and bassoon with piano accompaniment. Separate articles will discuss short character pieces for bassoon, with and without piano accompaniment; compositions for bassoon and orchestra; and chambermusic works featuring bassoon. It needs to be noted that while some compositions discussed are currently available through Western, primarily European publishers, most have been published in Russia and can be obtained in that country s libraries and archives. Several pieces to be reviewed have yet to be published and are only available in manuscript form. Finally, while this series of articles attempts a comprehensive approach to the Russian bassoon repertoire of today, there is still a significant amount of literature to which we have not had access; this literature will become an avenue for further research. SONATAS FOR SOLO AND ACCOMPANIED BASSOON From the most conservative to the avant-garde, contemporary Russian composers have always shown great respect for tradition. It is not surprising therefore, that many chose to work in the genre of a sonata, a staple of classical heritage. The approaches to that genre, however, are varied and multifaceted; this results in great structural and stylistic diversity.
31 THE DOUBLE REED 29 The contrasts are evident in these single-movement and multimovement compositions. Our discussion starts with an overview of sonatas for solo bassoon and bassoon duet without piano accompaniment, and proceeds to compositions for bassoon and piano. The overview is organized by composer; each section contains brief biographical remarks, a more in-depth overview of musical style, and finally an analysis of specific compositions. We have also included compositions of a similar type that do not bear the title of sonata, such as a suite. SOLO BASSOON AND BASSOON DUO SONATAS Edison Denisov ( ) Edison Denisov is justifiably considered one of the most important representatives of the post-shostakovich generation of Russian composers. In the last years of his life, he became an acknowledged leader of the Moscow School of composition or rather the avant-garde branch of that school currently dubbed the Denisov wave. 3 The young composers of the Denisov wave (some of them will be discussed in subsequent pages) include his students at the Moscow Conservatory, and his younger colleagues at the Association for Contemporary Music (ACM) that he founded in Born in the large Siberian city of Tomsk, Denisov earned a degree in mathematics before Shostakovich s encouragement inspired him to move to Moscow to study composition with Vissarion Shebalin and privately with Filip Herschkowitz. Denisov was amongst the first Russian composers to come into contact with music of the 2nd Viennese and Darmstadt Schools. He established personal connections with many noted Darmstadt composers such as Pierre Boulez and Bruno Maderna and served as a conduit between these composers and young Russian colleagues who thus received rare and coveted access to contemporary scores. These connections would later provide an outlet for the performance and publication of their works abroad. The most openly outspoken and uncompromising member of the Russian avant-garde underground, Denisov himself published almost exclusively outside Russia where his compositions were routinely shelved; additionally, he was barred from teaching at the Moscow Conservatory until the end of the Brezhnev era. Denisov s musical style is a result of rigorous exploration of Darmstadt compositional procedures and techniques such as serialism, aleatorics, sonoristics, graphic notation, and electronic music. Further influences, according to the composer himself, include Bartók, Messiaen, J. S. Bach, Mozart, a Russian classic Glinka, and jazz. 5 Among Denisov s compositions many of them commissioned by performers and conductors from around the world are operas, symphonies, concerti, songs, a remarkable late Requiem, music for theatre and film, and a substantial quantity of chamber music. The winds have received significant attention from this composer, and while his preference seems to be the saxophone, there are several compositions for bassoon. These include an early trio for violin, clarinet, and bassoon (1957), Double Concerto for Bassoon and Cello (1982), and two works for unaccompanied bassoon, Five Etudes for Solo Bassoon (1983), and the 1982 Sonata for Solo Bassoon. The Sonata is an ambitious, technically demanding, and somewhat enigmatic 15-minute work that showcases Denisov s approach to serialism, his rhythmic vitality, and the almost Classical clarity of his structures. The three-movement work consists of a densely-written, highly structured 12-tone Moderato unified by insistent dotted rhythms and triplets, and by the return of the opening melodic gesture in direct motion and retrograde. Lento poco rubato, notated in treble clef, showcases the highest register of the solo instrument. Its chromatic opening, while not conforming to the rulebook of serialism, moves almost exclusively in semitones; constant fluctuations of rhythm and dynamics, and espressivo markings in the score suggest a neo-romantic mood. The concluding Allegro Moderato is marked leggiero; its dynamic range, despite its meticulously notated fluctuations, remains between p and ppp (a forte marking appears only once). The rhythmic complexity of the finale hides an ironclad structure that explores numerous variations of a single pattern presented in the opening: a low-range single pitch followed by a fast descending passage originating in a high register. The pattern undergoes numerous transformations, including an inversion in the middle section of the movement, and a gradual disintegration towards its end. Sofia Gubaidulina (b. 1931) Sofia Gubaidulina is perhaps one of the best-known Russian composers in America today. Born in Tatarstan, she came to Moscow in 1954 to pursue graduate study in composition at the Moscow Conservatory with Nikolai Peiko and Vissarion Shebalin. Despite moving to Germany in 1992, Gubaidulina may rightly be considered a representative of the Moscow School. Together with Alfred Schnittke and Denisov, she belonged to the notorious Soviet musical underground of the 1970s and early 1980s. Gubaidulina s avant-garde tendencies are revealed in her keen interest in electronic music that dates
32 30 CONTEMPORARY RUSSIAN MUSIC FOR BASSOON PART 1: SONATAS FOR SOLO AND ACCOMPANIED BASSOON back to the late 1960s, and her experiments with microtonality. Additionally, she found inspiration in the deeply personal chromaticism of late Shostakovich and in the Minimalism of Arvo Pärt, both evident in her musical style. Gubaidulina s compositions cover a range of genres, including music for stage and film, choral, orchestral, and chamber works for a variety of Western, traditional Russian, Tatar, and Asian instruments. Many of her compositions carry programs expressed by their evocative titles, in Russian, German, or Latin, that often represent an opposition of light and darkness, sound and silence (e.g., symphony Stimmen Verstummen). The essence of these programs lies in Gubaidulina s deep spirituality: a philosopher and devout Orthodox, she believes that religion and music share a common goal, namely of restoring the legato of life, re-ligio and claims that the purpose of composition is spiritual renewal. 6 This credo is revealed not only in her openly spiritual compositions, such as Johannes-Passion and Sem slov na kreste [Seven Words on the Cross], but others as well. The composer s works display a delicate balance between the demands of their spiritual content and their rigorous form. The rhythm and structure in Gubaidulina s music are often governed by her interest in the mysticism of numbers: many compositions utilize the Fibonacci series, or reserve their most shattering climax for the golden section. However, as the composer communicated to musicologist Laurel Fay, the final decision-making is guided by an internal musical logic of each piece, rather than mathematical considerations. Still, if the numbers compute as a result, it would be considered additional proof of a composition s success. 7 To date, three of Gubaidulina s compositions utilize the bassoon in a soloists role: 1975 Concerto for Bassoon and Strings, the 1984 trio Quasi Hoquetus for bassoon, viola, and piano (both will be discussed later in this series), and the 1977 Duo-Sonata for two unaccompanied bassoons. The sonata consists of a single movement written in a recognizable manner that involves numerous meter and tempo changes, and complex rhythmic patterns (some notated precisely, others utilizing aleatoric devices). Long sustained tones and shimmering tremolos that pervade the texture are often placed against multiphonic chords employed throughout: this texture results in static, trance-like sonorities reminiscent of Pärt. The areas of stasis frame a Piu mosso middle section that introduces sharper, more intense, densely chromatic, and rhythmically charged material. The two instruments seem to whip each other into a frenzy that builds to a shattering fff climax in the highest register, before dissolving, again, into shimmering multiphonics and whispered pedal tones. Yuri Kasparov (b. 1955) Yuri Kasparov, a Moscow composer of Armenian extraction, has an engineering degree, and a degree in composition from the Moscow Conservatory where he studied with Edison Denisov. A composer of several choral and orchestral pieces, his affinity appears to be solo and chamber works frequently featuring woodwind and brass instruments. As an artistic director of the Moscow Ensemble of Contemporary Music, Denisov s deputy, and later successor at the ACM, Kasparov has emerged in today s musical scene as the leader of the young Moscow avant-garde; this group of composers received significant coverage in Lyman s article. Following his mentor, Kasparov claims affinity with the aesthetics of J. S. Bach and Viennese Classicism. The Second Viennese School however attracts his particular attention. Several of his compositions, including Epitaph in Memory of Alban Berg for oboe, violin, harp, and percussion, and the piano trio Schoenberg-Space, openly acknowledge this influence. Other works do so more subtly, in their utilization of serial techniques and an obsession with rhythm a musical element that Kasparov sees as both a distinctive kind of tonic and a thematic core, the heart of his compositional universe. 8 A number of Kasparov s compositions written over the last 15 years feature bassoon. These include the unaccompanied Sonata-Infernale (1989), a 1996 concerto for bassoon and orchestra, and a significant quantity of chamber music a quintet for bassoon and four cellos, 9 a trio Goat s Song for bassoon, double bass, and percussion (1991), a Chaconne for bassoon, cello, and electronics (1992), Over Eternal Peace for bassoon and chamber ensemble (1992), and Twelve Samples of Interrelations for bassoon, eight double basses, and eight timpani (1995). Seemingly, a major reason for the composer s interest in bassoon is his close collaboration with Valerii Popov who commissioned and premiered many of the works listed (some of which are dedicated to him). Popov continues to promote these pieces tirelessly both in Russia and abroad. 10 Popov s affinities for Kasparov s pieces are in part due to their demand for technical virtuosity and specifically the abundant use of multiphonics and other extended playing techniques. It is possible, however, that the presence of a performer who specializes in these techniques encouraged Kasparov to employ them more frequently. Lyman gave the American premiere of the Sonata-Infernale in 1994 at the IDRS Conference in Bloomington, Indiana. 11 It is not
33 THE DOUBLE REED 31 Example 1: Yuri Kasparov, Sonata-Infernale (excerpt) the only chamber work whose title showcases Kasparov s fascination with the macabre: another, work for 16 instruments titled Devil s Trills, was written the following year; several of the composer s vocal pieces were inspired by the equally dark imagery of Edgar Allen Poe and Paul Verlaine. The sonata is a single-movement work whose structure and motivic development is modeled after the Armenian folk-singing practice of improvisation around a single pitch. 12 The compositional techniques employed include dense chromaticism, re-coloring of a single pitch in a manner of klangfarbenmelodie, and multiple short sections of multiphonic chords incorporated into the body of the work. The work is unmetered and the rhythmic organization is left often left to the discretion of the performer. The composer either by employs aleatoric markings in the notation of rhythmic figures, or completely leaves out durational signs. (See Example 1)
34 32 CONTEMPORARY RUSSIAN MUSIC FOR BASSOON PART 1: SONATAS FOR SOLO AND ACCOMPANIED BASSOON Example 2: Vladimir Levit, Sonata for Two Bassoons, 1st movement (excerpt) Vladimir Levit Little is known about Vladimir Levit, a composer of Kasparov s generation who gravitates towards the more conservative wing of the Moscow School. Originally from Ekaterinburg, a large provincial city in the Urals, the composer apparently spent some time in Moscow, and currently lives in Jerusalem, Israel. Levit s Sonata for Two Bassoons dates from 1989, the year of Kasparov s Sonata-Infernale. It is dedicated to and was premiered by Valerii Popov and his father, also a renowned bassoonist. Unlike Kasparov s work, however, Levit s composition did not prove to be a Popov favorite, and has not been performed by him since the premiere. 13 Written in a rich chromatic language, the sonata leans stylistically towards neo-romanticism, avoiding technical wizardry in favor of showcasing a complex, intimate relationship between the two performers. This relationship evolves over the course of three movements through both textural and spatial counterpoint. The work is shaped as an arch, with two slow movements (both marked Andante espressivo) framing a scherzo. The two Andantes share some musical material. In both, the performers are physically separated: the second bassoon performs the first movement from backstage, while the first bassoon is positioned backstage in the finale. The two take turns calling wistfully to each other in long lyrical passages over sustained notes in the other part. (See Example 2) The scherzo is performed with both bassoonists on stage, chasing each other through the array of brief, brash, tongue-in-cheek sections with constantly fluctuating tempi. The physical separation of the two bassoons aids in presenting them as different musical personalities; this is enhanced by both lyrical and jocular qualities of the instruments also being explored. The contrasts exhibited in the duo Sonata appear to be the focus of Levit s four movement Sonatina for Solo Bassoon. In the Sonatina s brief 2nd movement, marked Andantino, the instrument is having a conversation with itself: the movement is written on two staves, the upper containing long lyrical passages in high register, the lower part detailing curt staccato phrases predominantly utilizing the lower fifth of the instrument s range. The Sonatina is written in a style similar to the Sonata. Both compositions are rhythmically driven and metrically complex, with deceptively simple duple and triple-beat groupings constantly in flux. There are no time signatures in either piece; the Sonatina and the scherzo of the Sonata utilize bar lines throughout while in the Sonata s outer movements they only appear occasionally. Mikhail Alekseev Among the manuscripts offered to us by Valerii Popov was a Sonata for Solo Bassoon by yet another young Denisov disciple, Muscovite Mikhail Alekseev. The sonata is a three movement composition; the movements are arranged in a slow-fastslow sequence gradually expanding in scope. Similar to the scores of Denisov, Alekseev s are meticulous: phrasing, articulations, and breath marks are indicated in each movement; the beat groupings within compound meters are carefully notated. The musical style also betrays Denisov s impact, as well as that of the older composer s two major influences: Igor Stravinsky and Béla Bartók. Bartók s presence in the score is evidenced in the 1st and 2nd movements where Alekseev uses a rhythmic palindrome that is a direct quote from the Music for Strings, Percussion, and Celeste. (See, for instance, measure 6 of Example 3) Stravinsky s influence is subtler and may be seen in the composer s approach to meter, use of accents, and motivic development, particularly in the Con moto section of the finale. (See Example 4) Like many of his Moscow
35 THE DOUBLE REED 33 Example 3: Mikhail Alekseev, Sonata for Solo Bassoon, 1st movement (excerpt) Example 4: Mikhail Alekseev, Sonata for Solo Bassoon, 3rd movement (excerpt)
36 34 CONTEMPORARY RUSSIAN MUSIC FOR BASSOON PART 1: SONATAS FOR SOLO AND ACCOMPANIED BASSOON Example 5: Vyacheslav Artyomov, Sunday Sonata for Bassoon and Piano, 1st movement (excerpt) colleagues, Alekseev employs extended playing techniques, but uses them sparingly, tastefully incorporating the multiphonic passages into the texture of the two opening movements. Among other contemporary Russian sonatas for solo bassoon are those by an older master Moisei Weinberg whose style resembles that of Shostakovich, and by Popov s protégé Merab Gagnidze, a Georgian composer close to the Denisov circle whose chamber music will be discussed later in this series. BASSOON WITH PIANO ACCOMPANIMENT Vyacheslav Artyomov (b. 1940) Despite the fact that the musical style of Vyacheslav Artyomov s compositions can hardly be described as avant-garde, he is considered by many as the most important Russian composer of his generation and arguably the most significant composer to have emerged since the death of Dmitri Shostakovich. 14 Born in the capital, Artyomov studied composition with Nikolai Sidelnikov at the Moscow Conservatory, and soon after demonstrated a pronounced affinity towards the neofolklorist movement currently in vogue. The extent of his interest is revealed in his early compositions that use modality, terse heterophonic textures, and non-traditional approaches to rhythm. His unusual choice of Northern Russia as a location for his ethnomusicological research (the South-Western region would have been expected of a Muscovite) has also resulted in some parallel stylistic discoveries with Leningrad composers who typically went north. Artyomov s fascination with folklore ensures that despite his awareness of the Western avant-garde, he would stay somewhat insulated from the serialist experiments of Darmstadt School keeping his own music essentially tonal. The common ground with his Western-European contemporaries came in his interest in indeterminacy and improvisation: in 1975 together with Sofia Gubaidulina he organized the improvisation group Astrea in order to pursue this interest. By this time, however, neo-romanticism clearly prevailed in his compositional style, and deep spirituality became a significant part of his aesthetic outlook. Artyomov states that emotional content in his compositions, their expression of the profundity of existence, of the deepest and innermost events 15 is more significant than structural considerations. Most of his pieces bear evocative titles that refer to a personal, confessional quality (e.g., Recitation, Confession, Meditation, Elegies), or have a more specific extra-musical content attached to them (often as a written-out, detailed literary program). Several compositions are openly religious in character, including Requiem, Lamentations, Pieta, and Gurian Hymns; others reflect the mystical sensibilities of the Russian Silver Age. The composer believes in the transfiguration of the created world through music. 16 He is an acknowledged disciple of Scriabin, and his works tend towards the typically Scriabinist extremes either an intimate, lyrical selfexpression of his solo or chamber pieces, or a mystical grandiosity of the symphonic and choral works with transcendent or eschatological content and gigantic performance forces (e.g., a tetralogy Symphony of the Way, ). 17 Much of Artyomov s chamber music is scored for winds, including a wind quintet, and solo works for flute, clarinet, and saxophone. His two works for solo bassoon both date from Unaccompanied Recitation V is atypical in its avantgarde slant, and will be discussed later in the series. More representative of Artyomov s compositional temperament is a two-movement Sunday Sonata for bassoon and piano. The title of the work is typically multi-layered, the Russian word voskresenie having a double meaning of Sunday and Resurrection. The two movements follow without a break; the tempi are expressed by metronome markings only, indicating their sequence as slow-fast. The slow movement opens with an
37 THE DOUBLE REED 35 extended monologue for solo bassoon that starts pianissimo in the low range and gradually climbs up to the treble register, culminating on a ff ds2. At this point, the piano enters with ringing sustained whole-tone clusters in its high register, played on a damper pedal with the lid fully open, creating a plethora of overtone echoes stretching into infinity. (See Example 5) The whole-tone collections provide the foundation for both melodic development and harmonic progressions throughout the composition that references a tonal center without adhering to functional hierarchy. It follows the style of late Scriabin in substituting a referential chord (such as a tritone-based C-Fs- B that concludes the work) for a traditional tonic. Structures are almost classical in their transparency: the second movement is a rondo, with a recognizable refrain appearing three times staccato, on the same pitch level in the low register of the bassoon. The primary expressive means in Artyomov s sonata, however, seems to be timbre: the ringing whole-tone sonorities in the high register of the piano create a shimmering soundscape through which navigates a deeper, more intense and serious voice of the bassoon dark, emotional, and romantic in the first movement, edgy and sarcastic in the finale. Efrem Podgaits (b. 1949) Originally from Ukraine, Efrem Podgaits moved to Moscow as a child, and studied composition at the Moscow Conservatory with Sidelnikov, also Artyomov s teacher. Podgaits career has largely been shaped by his association with the internationally renowned children s choir Vesna, and later the Children s Theater of Opera and Ballet. 18 In his music for children, as well as his other works, the composer remains on the conservative side of neo-romanticism. His style is characterized by engaging melodies, humor, and an unconventional approach to orchestration. In addition to children s music, instrumental concerti and chamber genres appear to interest him the most. In these genres, Podgaits explores the timbres and techniques of Baroque music: among his output are several works for harpsichord, viola d amore, and other Baroque instruments; his structures and motivic development also owe a great deal to the Baroque and the early Classical traditions. As of today, Podgaits has written relatively little for winds: his catalogue lists an oboe sonata, works for flute, clarinet, and saxophone quartet. His bassoon pieces include a 1980 Quintet for two bassoons, violin, double bass, and piano, and two sonatas for bassoon and piano, a 1966 Sonata that appears to be the work of a 17-year-old student, and a mature Second Sonata (1988) dedicated to bassoonist Alexander Klechevsky. The sonata is a single movement in several distinct sections of contrasting tempi. An Andantino introduction leads to Allegro vivo, followed by an Andante sostenuto, culminating in another Allegro vivo. The work is tonal, its texture is light and transparent; with the exception of a single flutter tonguing passage in the finale, the treatment of the instrument is conservative, passages of cantilena alternating with scherzo episodes. The opening solo for the unaccompanied bassoon seems to represent almost a tradition for Russian contemporary bassoon sonatas: a similarly rhapsodic monolog opens Artyomov s Sunday Sonata and several other works. This piece was recorded by Ron Klimko in 1997 and may be heard on the compact disc Bassoon With a View. We wholeheartedly agree with Klimko s statement that the Podgaits is a fine work for the bassoon which deserves a larger audience than it has found thus far. 19 Dmitri Smirnov (b. 1948) Like Artyomov and Podgaits, Dmitri Smirnov attended Nikolai Sidelnikov s composition classes at the Moscow Conservatory. Yet, it was from his orchestration professor Edison Denisov and his private tutor, Filip Herschkowitz (Webern s pupil) that the young composer truly learned his craft. During the Brezhnev era, his compositions were amongst those smuggled abroad courtesy of Denisov s contacts. Considerable attention that Smirnov s works attracted in the West steadily increased over the years, particularly after he and his wife, composer Elena Firsova, moved to England in A prolific composer, Smirnov is one of the oldest and most distinguished members of the Denisov wave ; he was also a founding member of the ACM. His compositional style may be attributed to his mentor in its use of dense chromaticism (including serial structures) and heterophonic textures. Simultaneously, McBurney notices traces of neo-romanticism in Smirnov s later works, thanks to his private rediscovery of Mahler and Richard Strauss. Always a champion of complex form, the composer has now become fascinated with the symbolism of ciphers and number alphabets. 20 Sonata for Bassoon and Piano op. 22 was composed in 1977 and premiered by Valerii Popov in It is a single-movement work written in the Moscow avant-garde style. The work contains an extended cadenza for solo bassoon that employs passages of multiphonics. We have not had a chance to see the score of this piece; for an analysis and a musical example, see Lyman s article previously referenced. 21 Valerii Kikta (b. 1941) Of Ukrainian origin, Valerii Kikta graduated from the Moscow
38 36 CONTEMPORARY RUSSIAN MUSIC FOR BASSOON PART 1: SONATAS FOR SOLO AND ACCOMPANIED BASSOON Conservatory composition department in 1967; 25 years later Kikta took over the orchestration chair at his alma mater that had been occupied by Denisov. His approach to composition and pedagogy differs significantly from his predecessor: a student of Tikhon Khrennikov, Kikta has a reputation for stylistic conservatism, more recently supplemented by an interest in aleatorics and atonality. His major influences include Tchaikovsky and Polish composer Stanislaw Ludkewicz whose work Kikta has researched. The composer has also demonstrated interest in Russian and Ukrainian folklore. These traditions have served as a source for libretti, texts, and musical material throughout his career. His music embraces both neo- Romanticism and some aspects of the neo-folklorist movement. Valerii Kikta s compositional output includes more than a dozen ballet scores and numerous choral works. In the latter, he seeks to unite the Russian 18 th -century choral concerto tradition with more contemporary stylistic trends. 22 Among other works, are several instrumental concerti (including one for oboe), sonatas, and suites. Two sonatas for bassoon and piano by Kikta both date from the late 1970s; this time period saw a surge of interest among Russian composers in writing for that instrument. Sonata no. 1 for Bassoon and Piano (1977) is a singlemovement work, in which a transparently classical structure and a solid anchor in tonality (albeit highly chromatic in some sections and tinged with modality in others) provide a foundation for experimentation with avant-garde compositional devices and extended playing techniques. An Allegretto introduction opens with an unmetered but rhythmically precise solo for bassoon. The instrument creates a two-voiced polyphonic texture, each voice outlining the pitches of diminished 7th chords. The piano then joins; first there are single sustained pitches aligned graphically to the bassoon part, additional intervals are added that eventually integrate once again into a polyphonic twovoice texture; this is performed in canon with the bassoon. This Baroque-inspired opening material returns several times throughout the movement. Baroque influences are revealed in more subtle ways as well; the tumultuous Allegro barbaro ensues with carefully notated 18th-century articulations in the bassoon part. This texture is metered and barred strictly in 6/8; its texture is tense, and both instruments are kept busy with fast passagework. The range and dynamic level in the bassoon increases culminating in a sustained forte c 2 that announces the next section, Meno mosso. If the work is to be viewed as a sonata form (as the composer evidently insists), this section is the secondary theme; the primary theme is presented in the Allegro barbaro. The bassoon in the Meno mosso takes the lead with more lyrical material (marked dolce) that is filled with microtonal slides and accompanied by sustained diatonic clusters in the piano; the meter oscillates gently between 6/8 and 9/8 in this rocking barcarola. The tempo primo indication marks the development section that is filled almost entirely with introductory material. The mysterioso opening utilizes the counterpoint of diminished 7ths in the piano part, against the multiphonics in the bassoon. As the 6/8 time signature and the bar lines return, both instruments explore the polyphonic texture and material presented in the exposition. The directions of the lines, their metrical alignment and rhythmic content gradually grow in complexity leading to dense trills and tremolos in both parts; this acts as a transition recalling secondary material and including cadenza-like passages in both instruments. The Allegro barbaro expectedly reappears in the recapitulation marked fff. The bassoon in the reprise of the secondary theme combines microtonal slides and aleatoric passages. A brief recall of the opening, softly (bassoon is marked con sord.), mysterioso and tranquillo, ends the work. Rostislav Boiko The three-movement Sonata for Bassoon and Piano by a young Muscovite Rostislav Boiko is not published; the dedicatee Valerii Popov offered us his manuscript copy for perusal. The work will delight students and concertgoers alike as it is accessible and relies heavily on 19th-century traditions. The opening Andante is a sonata form that begins in A-minor; the secondary theme is a broad bassoon cantilena in A-flat major, accompanied by pulsing chords in the piano. The development is based primarily on the opening material; the recapitulation is set in A-major, with the time signature changed from 4/4 to 12/8 creating an opportunity for Lisztian Romanticism. The second movement, Allegro moderato, is a brief scherzo in Fs-minor that appears to owe much to Shostakovich. The opening section features a solo bassoon in its typically edgy and sarcastic guise; this solo returns after a lyrical middle section in which the piano takes the leading role. The brief finale, like the scherzo, is a simple ternary form. It is a majestic Grave in D-major: a simple lyrical melody in the bassoon s middle register proceeds against sonorous chord progressions in the piano. Yuri Kornakov One of the leading composers in St. Petersburg today, Yuri Kornakov belongs to the generation of Russian musicians that came of age artistically in the 1970s. Unlike his Moscow colleagues, however, he has not yet attracted much attention outside his native city unfortunately so, for the quality of his music is first rate.
39 THE DOUBLE REED 37 Kornakov works in a variety of genres, including music for stage, choral, orchestral, and chamber works. Music for winds seems to attract his attention, with a variety of compositions commissioned and premiered by St. Petersburg musicians who took a liking to this composer s style. His bassoon music, for instance, has found favor with Kyrill Sokolov, professor of bassoon at the St. Petersburg Conservatory, and his students who are now beginning to showcase Kornakov s works at concerts and competitions, both nationally and internationally. 23 Among the composer s pieces for winds are two flute concerti, a wind quintet, an oboe sonata, and other chamber pieces. He is also known for writing virtuoso showpieces for winds, such as a Concert Capriccio for Flute, and a recent Waltz-Caprice for bassoon and piano, to be discussed later in the series. His Suite for Bassoon and Piano op. 11 is an early work that was published in The three-movement composition consists of a Canzona marked Lento, an Allegro moderato Gavotte, and a fast Scherzo, with an indication Allegro molto. The Canzona s character is that of a siciliano, with meters oscillating between 6/8, 7/8, and 9/8, containing predominantly triplet movement. The bassoon and piano share musical material (whose chromaticism is predominantly of a modal character), moving either in parallel or in counterpoint with each other. The piano texture is often scored in parallel fifths several octaves apart, creating a familiarly Petersburgian hollow, haunting atmosphere. The Gavotte is tasty and stylish, with fresh harmonies and unexpected turns of phrase. Performers who keep the tempo moderate and carefully observe the composer s meticulous markings will be rewarded for their efforts. The final Scherzo is fast, light, and challenging, particularly with respect to meter (alternating 5/8, 7/8, and 8/8). The ensemble is paramount, as there is much doubling and hocket-like sharing of material between the instruments. Vladimir Rimsha This young Petersburg composer began to publish in the 1980s, and unfortunately, even less information is available about him than his older colleague Kornakov. His Sonata for Bassoon and Piano published in 1988 is a large composition, whose high level of technical difficulty lies in the intricacies of its meter, rhythm, and texture, rather than any unusual demands made of the soloist. The work consists of three movements: Allegro con spirito, Adagio tranquillo, and Presto agitato; movements two and three follow without break. The first movement is extremely complex metrically: the composer seems obsessed with exploring unusual metrical divisions (e.g., 9/8 notated as ) and a variety of compound meters (5/8, 7/8, 11/16, etc) that change with great frequency. Tense, chromatic material is shared equally between the bassoon and piano (with the exception of a short bassoon cadenza with some use of aleatorics); the instruments pass motives fluidly through the texture. A successful performance of this piece requires an ironclad sense of rhythm and great ensemble work from both players. The brooding, coldly lyrical tone of the second movement, set almost entirely in pp range, is typical of the St. Petersburg school: the composer s style of mixing modality with chromaticism resembles his older colleague Sergei Slonimsky. 24 Rimsha continues his play with meters and accents heard mostly in the left hand of the piano that is scored in the extreme low register. This section also contains light chordal figuration in the treble range. The bassoon part is written in broadly unfolding, lyrical phrases in the middle and high range; the music requires great emotional sensitivity and control of breathing and sound quality. The finale is extremely fast, and meter changes abound. Although accent placement is somewhat less complex than in the opening movement, the rhythmic counterpoint between the instruments is at times daunting. Another compositional focus of this movement seems to be texture ranging from stark unisons and passages in parallel tritones to strict counterpoint and dense polychords. Rimsha continues to explore the extreme registers of both instruments. Piotr Kozinsky A composer of Denisov s generation, Piotr Kozinsky was a descendant of the great noble Russian family of Sheremetev. He was an aristocrat and an avid art collector. After graduating from the Leningrad Conservatory shortly after WWII, he returned to his native Petrozavodsk, in Karelia an area of Northern Russia close to the Finnish border and lived there until his death several years ago. Kozinsky s talent lends itself to intimate settings and chamber genres. Much of his music delves into the Karelian and Finnish folklore, particularly the grand epic Kalevala. However, the St. Petersburg imagery is equally present in his work, as exemplified in the twomovement Sonata for Bassoon and Piano (1977). Its opening movement, marked Con moto, presents the typically Petersburg bassoon: the two aspects of the somewhat cold Northern lyricism and the mysterious, dark, fantastical imagery of the city immortalized on the pages of Dostoevsky and Shostakovich. The second movement of the sonata, Allegro energetico, is longer and more
40 38 CONTEMPORARY RUSSIAN MUSIC FOR BASSOON PART 1: SONATAS FOR SOLO AND ACCOMPANIED BASSOON Example 6: Pauls Dambis, Sonata for Bassoon and Piano, (excerpt)
41 THE DOUBLE REED 39 demanding; it requires tremendous facility, range, and technical control. Close attention to form, typical of the Petersburg composers, is evident in this movement, structured like an arch (ABCBA); there are also references to a sonata form although it is not adopted whole-heartedly. The opening theme shared by the bassoon and piano, creates a dark, restless, cold image of wind and emptiness, typical of Petersburg music; the theme is recalled briefly, broken, at the end of the movement. The B section is a slow, wistful waltz in a Ravel tradition; its returns encircle a haunting march, complete with military fanfares in the bassoon s middle and high registers. Tama Kott gave the American premiere of this piece at the University of Missouri- Columbia on 17 March Pauls Dambis (b. 1936) Latvian composer Pauls Dambis was born and trained in Riga. In his intellectual approach to form, 25 he gravitates towards St. Petersburg School of composition, as does Kozinsky and other composers from the Northern provinces. Much of his output is choral music, accompanied and a cappella, known for its timbral and textural experiments and employment of Latvian folklore. Another genre in which Dambis has excelled is chamber music, primarily for string and keyboard instruments (piano, organ, and harpsichord). His Sonata for Bassoon and Piano is a single-movement work in several contrasting sections, some unmetered and rhythmically free, others composed more strictly, utilizing time signatures and bar lines. Aleatoric devices are employed throughout in both the bassoon and piano parts. The composer s approach to the technique is very conservative, however: all instructions are meticulously notated, with little left to the performer s discretion. (See Example 6) CONCLUSION A major purpose of our research is to share with American musicians the variety and quality of contemporary Russian music that features bassoon. Compositions discussed in this article offer a representative sample of solo and accompanied bassoon sonatas and bassoon duets that came out of Russia during the late Soviet and post-soviet periods. The composers collectively known as the post-shostakovich generation may themselves be divided into no less than four chronological layers. The masters such as Edison Denisov, Sofia Gubaidulina, and Piotr Kozinsky emerged during the late 1950s and 1960s, and some of them benefited from personal contacts in the form of tutelage or encouragement with Dmitri Shostakovich. The next group, born in the late 1930s and early 1940s, includes Vyacheslav Artyomov, Valerii Kikta, and Pauls Dambis; these composers might have been under Shostakovich s watchful eyes as students but their stylistic coming of age dates from the post-shostakovich era. Yuri Kasparov, Yuri Kornakov, Efrem Podgaits, Dmitri Smirnov, and Vladimir Levit belong to the first truly post-shostakovich group of composers who learned from the Denisov generation and produced their first mature compositions after And finally, Mikhail Alekseev and Rostislav Boiko the youngest among Moscow s Denisov wave as well as the Petersburger Vladimir Rimsha offer us a glimpse of the emerging future for Russian music, including music for bassoon. Stylistic analysis of contemporary Russian bassoon repertoire cannot be complete without awareness of the variety of schools and trends followed by its composers. Specifically, structural rigor, emotional restraint, traditional approach to tonality and performance technique, and an emphasis on the dark and sarcastic qualities of the bassoon characterize the St Petersburg School. The neo- Romantic branch of the Moscow School emphasizes flexibility of structure with significant use of minimalist techniques, and emotional expressivity, particularly with respect to the often deeply spiritual content of its compositions. The Moscow avantgarde, meanwhile, produces densely atonal, frequently serial works that utilize aleatorics and microtonality, and challenge the bassoon soloist with an abundance of extended playing techniques. Despite the differences between these trends, few composers follow them exclusively, as close contacts between musicians lead to the free exchange of ideas. The areas of mutual interest include the influences of Shostakovich and other older masters, a fascination with the Russian folklore, and a close study of dodecaphony and the discoveries of the Darmstadt School. This article is a first in what is intended to be a four-part series. It is our goal to provide a balanced overview and a guide to performance and study of this fascinating repertoire, much of which is still unavailable outside Russia. Part 2 of the series treats short character pieces for solo and accompanied bassoon. From a brief reverie to an experimental showpiece, the range of repertoire in this genre is wide, and brings back some familiar names as well as introducing composers not discussed in the current publication. We hope it proves enlightening. CONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE
42 40 CONTEMPORARY RUSSIAN MUSIC FOR BASSOON PART 1: SONATAS FOR SOLO AND ACCOMPANIED BASSOON BIBLIOGRAPHY Asafiev, Boris. Simfonicheskie Etiudy. Leningrad: Muzyka, Kholopov, Yuri and Tsenova, Valeria. Edison Denisov The Russian Voice in European New Music. Berlin: Kuhn, Klimko, Ron. Liner notes to Bassoon With a View: Late 20th-Century Bassoon Music. CD, Nova Recordings, Lyman, Jeffrey. After Shostakovich, What Next? New Russian Soviet Music for Bassoon. IDRS Journal 19 no. 4 (1996): Matthew-Walker, Robert. The Music of Vyacheslav Artyomov: An Introduction. St Austell: DGR, Podgaits, Yefrem. Otvety Na Anketu Zhurnala. Sovetskaya Muzyka 3 (1988): 6-7. The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, 2nd edition, ed. Stanley Sadie; 29 vols. New York: Grove, Rytsareva, Marina. Kompozitor Sergei Slonimsky. Leningrad: Sovetskii Kompozitor, ENDNOTES 1 Jeffrey Lyman, After Shostakovich, What Next? New Russian Soviet Music for Bassoon, IDRS Journal 19 no. 4 (1996), Boris Asafiev (Igor Glebov), Simfonicheskie Etiudy (Leningrad: Muzyka, 1970), 158. An English translation of this book by David Haas is forthcoming in Scarecrow Press. 3 Yuri Kholopov and Valeria Tsenova, Edison Denisov The Russian Voice in European New Music (Berlin: Kuhn, 2002), The original ACM, an organization that flourished in Moscow in the 1920s, was disbanded by a 1932 government decree that created the Union of Composers; by reclaiming its name, Denisov stated his intention to recreate the original purpose and spirit of the group. 5 Gerard McBurney, Denisov, Edison (Vasil yevich), New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, 2nd edition, ed. by Stanley Sadie; 29 vols. (New York: Grove, 2001), 7: Valentina Kholopova, Gubaydulina, Sofiya Asgatovna, New Grove 10: Laurel Fay, Class lecture on Gubaidulina (Ohio State University, 2001). 8 Alla Grigorieva, Kasparov, Yury Sergeyevich, New Grove 13: The date of this composition is uncertain; it is not included in the New Grove list of the composer s works. Valerii Popov informed us of its existence, but we have yet to see the score. 10 In his conversations with us in Moscow in July 2003, Popov was quick to recommend Kasparov as an exemplary contemporary Russian composer for bassoon. We were also allowed to copy a manuscript of the Sonata- Infernale that Popov personally owns. 11 Jeffrey Lyman, Ibid. 13 Valerii Popov, personal communication, 2 July, The American premiere of Levit s Sonata for Two Bassoons was given by Tama Kott and Lecolion Washington at the University of Missouri, on 17 March Robert Matthew-Walker, The Music of Vyacheslav Artyomov: An Introduction (St Austell: DGR, 1997), Ibid. 16 Matthew-Walker, Svetlana Savenko, Artyomov, Vyacheslav Petrovich, New Grove 2: Yefrem Podgaits, Otvety Na Anketu Zhurnala, Sovetskaya Muzyka 3 (1988), See Bassoon With a View: Late 20th- Century Bassoon Music. CD, Nova Recordings, Gerard McBurney, Smirnov, Dmitri Nikolayevich, New Grove 23: Lyman, 59-60, Yuri Paisov, Kikta, Valery Grigor yevich, New Grove 13: Kyrill Sokolov, personal communication, July Together with Shostakovich s student Boris Tischenko and Yuri Falik, Sergei Slonimsky (b. 1932) is one of the leading older representatives of the St Petersburg School. Although unfortunately he has not yet written any music for solo bassoon (his main genres are operas and symphonies), his style influenced many of his younger contemporaries. For more details, see: Marina Rytsareva, Kompozitor Sergei Slonimsky (Leningrad: Sovetskii Kompozitor, 1991). 25 Arnolds Klotins, Dambis, Pauls, New Grove 6:871.
43 THE DOUBLE REED 41 Dorati s Cinq pièces (The Six Oboe Works by Antal Dorati, Part IV) Elizabeth Aronson Robertson Evansville, Indiana Antal Dorati s fourth work for oboe, Cinq pièces pour le hautbois seul (Five Pieces for Oboe Alone), was composed during 1980 and It is the thirty-second of Dorati s forty-six surviving works and his only work for a solo instrument without accompaniment. Because Cinq pièces was written during the last ten years of the composer s life, this work falls into Dorati s third period of composition and is an excellent example of his mature style. Cinq pièces was published by Boosey & Hawkes in 1981 but not sold in the United Kingdom until Dorati dedicated this work to Heinz Holliger; the dedication in the published score reads à Heinz Holliger, amicalement, 2 which means to Heinz Holliger with best wishes, an indication of the friendship between these two artists. In addition, in his liner notes, Dorati wrote that these five pieces were clearly written for a master of the instrument and a sensitive as well as witty master musician to whom they are also cordially dedicated. 3 The published score specifies that the premiere was given by Holliger at the Tonhalle, Zürich on 14 May Calum MacDonald s article, however, lists this work as premiered in April 1980, as does the Dorati Web site. 5 Considering that Cinq pièces was apparently not completed until 1981, it is more likely that the date for the premiere printed in the published score is correct. Four recordings of this work have been made, one by Heinz Holliger in 1986 on Philips (LP), one by Diana Doherty in 2000 on ABC Classics , one by Yeon-Hee Kwak in 2002 on Musikproduktion Dabringhaus und Grimm MDG , and one by Eric Speller in 2003 on Ambroisie AMB9933. MacDonald s article gives the duration of this work as 13 minutes; however, the Dorati Web site lists it as 15 minutes, and the lengths of the recordings range from 15 minutes to over 17 minutes. 6 Cinq pièces is made up of the following five contrasting movements: 1. La Cigale et la fourmie (d après Lafontaine) Allegro; Rigoroso 2. Lettre d amour Andante 3. Fugue à trois voix Allegro giusto 4. Berceuse Andante, tranquillo, tenero; Allegretto 5. Légerdemain: Le spiel (Moderato, rubato, spiegato); Le trick (Vivace). Movement 1 is based on the tale of The Ant and the Grasshopper (the title of the movement) by Jean de La Fontaine. Regarding this movement, Dorati wrote: The first piece couched in a bravura style is intended to reproduce musically the dialogue of the brilliantly frivolous grasshopper and the diligently proud ant as they appear in La Fontaine s fable. 7 The fable is essentially is a short dialogue between an ant and a grasshopper (sometimes translated as cricket or cicada). The two characters past and future actions are not actually included in the tale but are revealed indirectly by their conversation. The story begins in winter, when the grasshopper is in dire straights, having nothing to eat during the cold months. When he asks the ant for food, the ant, even though he has plenty, refuses to give him any. Instead, the ant sarcastically remarks that he should have planned ahead and stored up food in the summer (as the ant did) instead of singing every day. In the fable, the harsh consequences for the grasshopper are only implied but they can certainly be guessed by the reader, while the ant lives on, happily enjoying the benefits of his hard work. The moral of this fable is that everyone must plan ahead or suffer the consequences. A typical translation of this tale by La Fontaine is as follows: The grasshopper sang all summer long. When winter came she had no provisions Not one tiny morsel of fly or worm. She went to her neighbor the ant and pleaded hunger, Begging for the loan of a few crumbs
44 42 DORATI S CINQ PIÈCES (THE SIX OBOE WORKS BY ANTAL DORATI, PART IV) So that she might survive. I ll repay you with interest before next season, She promised, insect s word of honour. The ant never lends (the least of her faults!), So she said to this borrower: What were you doing all day when the weather was warm? With all respect, I sang, night and day, to all who passed by. Singing, were you? How delightful! Well, now you can dance! 8 A similar story appears in prose in Aesop s Fables: One winter s morning an ant was checking his larder to ensure that the grain, carefully harvested and stored in previous years, was in good condition. A cold and bedraggled grasshopper passed by and, seeing the grain, stopped to beg a little for himself. I collected my grain last year, said the ant. Why didn t you? The grasshopper explained that he had been too busy dancing and singing to plan ahead. The ant was irritated by his attitude and said sharply, In that case, you had better dance and sing your way through the winter, too. 9 Since this movement is programmatic, the structure could be compared to a narrative and analyzed as simply through-composed with no exact repetition or recognizable form. However, this movement may also be divided into four distinguishable parts: Section 1 mm = a straightforward portrayal of two characters Section 2 mm = the discussion between the two characters Section 3 mm = consequences for the unprepared grasshopper; the satisfied ant Codetta mm = The End The first section of this movement seems to function mainly as an introduction to the two insects. Measures 1-25 portray the grasshopper, and mm portray the ant. These two parts of the first section allow the listener to get acquainted with the basic nature of each character. This first part does not seem to represent the discussion in the fable, but rather, a musical description of the two opposite personalities, setting the stage for the drama which follows. During the second part, the discussion becomes more intense. In the third part the grasshopper seems to become disheartened and to grow weaker and fade away, while the ant continues to thrive. The grasshopper is a carefree, easy-going, likeable character who dances and plays all day. 10 In Cinq pièces, the grasshopper s jumping is portrayed musically by wide leaps, from the low register to the very high register. The soft low notes, in combination with the two fast sixteenths of the middle register and the forte longer notes of the high register, give the feeling of lift. These leaps, as in mm. 1-5, imitate the grasshopper pushing off from the ground and springing up momentarily into the air. The staccatos and grace notes enhance the jumping effect and add an element of whimsy and playfulness (see Ex. 5.1). The rhythm, as well as the melodic material, of the grasshopper s sections is irregular. This section has no real pattern or structure no obvious theme, only motives. The tempo marking is Allegro rubato, which indicates liveliness and liberty. At times, the music is syncopated, sounding almost jazzy, as in m. 4. This fits perfectly with the character of the grasshopper, because jazz is associated with spontaneity and a relaxed musical attitude. The music of this first section representing the grasshopper, therefore, sounds appropriately light-hearted, unstructured, and unplanned. Ex Dorati, Cinq pièces, I, mm Copyright 1981 by Boosey & Hawkes Music Publishers Ltd. Copyright Renewed. Reprinted by permission of Boosey & Hawkes, Inc. The antithesis of the grasshopper is, of course, the serious, disciplined, industrious ant, who works hard all summer storing away grain for the cold winter months. 11 The ant is portrayed musically by running,
45 THE DOUBLE REED 43 chromatic sixteenth notes. Because of the speed of the sixteenths, and the lack of rhythmic variety, the ant s sections sound rather like an exercise or etude. This is an appropriate choice of figuration, because it evokes thoughts of discipline and work, as well as sounding busy. The tempo marking is Rigoroso, reminding us of the rigorous, hard-working nature of the ant. The energy of the ant s sections is focused and intense, with no whimsy or playfulness. Unlike the grasshopper s sections, the ant s contain almost no leaps. By limiting the ant s intervals to primarily major and minor 2nds, or stepwise motion, Dorati makes a clear aural distinction between the insect that hops and the insect that only crawls. The almost continuous chromaticism adds tension to the ant s sections. In mm , the accents and staccato phrase endings give the effect of irritability and sarcasm. With the addition of rests between the short phrases, as in mm , the four-note groups sound even more cutting (see Ex. 5.2). Ex Dorati, Cinq pièces, I, mm Copyright 1981 by Boosey & Hawkes Music Publishers Ltd. Copyright Renewed. Reprinted by permission of Boosey & Hawkes, Inc. It is difficult to tell whether Dorati intended to follow the chronology of the fable exactly, or to simply represent the two characters and their interaction. With the quick alternation between two disparate styles, Dorati does clearly portray a contrast between the two characters. The composer also clearly used Tempo I for the grasshopper s sections and Tempo II for the ant s sections. In m. 44 the grasshopper addresses the ant, ending with a question in m. 49. In mm , the composer effectively conveys the growing intensity of the conversation by increasing the volume of the ant to fortissimo in mm. 54 and 56, and the frequency and size of the jumps in the grasshopper s answer in mm , with no rests in between the leaps, giving the effect of a frantic or fervent appeal (see Ex. 5.3). Ex Dorati, Cinq pièces, I, mm Copyright 1981 by Boosey & Hawkes Music Publishers Ltd. Copyright Renewed. Reprinted by permission of Boosey & Hawkes, Inc. It is not clear what happens at the end of the fable in movement 1 of Cinq pièces. In mm , the ant s final response suddenly seems to change into a narrator s role. The vehemence dissipates, and a written-out ritardando suggests the grasshopper becoming more and more feeble. The composer also calls for the use of lip vibrato in mm , which gives the two final D s a shaky quality. This, in addition to the use of Ef and the marking of dolente in m. 70, evokes the grasshopper s suffering (see Ex. 5.4). While the earlier descending leaps in mm , increasing in speed and dynamic level, seem highly energetic, the leaps from B down to Ef in mm , at a dynamic level of piano instead of the previous forte, imply a loss of energy. In addition, each of the grace-note figures in mm forms a minor triad. The rests between the falling seconds give the line a sad, gasping quality. The grasshopper struggles for his life, perhaps making one last plea to the ant. His fate, however, is left undetermined. Ex Dorati, Cinq pièces, I, mm Copyright 1981 by Boosey & Hawkes Music Publishers Ltd. Copyright Renewed. Reprinted by permission of Boosey & Hawkes, Inc.
46 44 DORATI S CINQ PIÈCES (THE SIX OBOE WORKS BY ANTAL DORATI, PART IV) At the end of movement, in mm , the ant is pictured once more, enjoying the rewards of his work, perhaps gloating in the success of his planning and storing for winter. Since the ant is selfish and uncompassionate, it is difficult for the observer to feel happy about the ending. The ant has indeed survived but has lost the grasshopper s companionship in the process. Since the end of this section is forte, it seems to imply that the ant is still strong and satisfied with himself. In mm , when the dynamic changes from piano to forte back to piano, it is easy to imagine the self-righteous ant muttering to himself that it was the grasshopper s own fault because he didn t plan ahead. The last two measures of this movement, the codetta, could be compared to the last measure of Pan from Benjamin Britten s Six Metamorphoses after Ovid, Op Both endings seem to say The End. Each is quick and light, and in a completely different mood than what immediately preceded it. Dorati s codetta contains a grace note and a decrescendo to a subito fortissimo on the final low D (see Ex. 5.5). Britten s ending is consistent with the whimsical nature of the faun (see Ex. 5.6), while Dorati s ending could be interpreted as being the last whimper of the grasshopper followed by the ant s final word (or even the ant s door slamming shut). Each ending is almost the musical equivalent of a wink, reminding the listener that what was just presented is merely a tale, not to be taken too seriously. Ex Dorati, Cinq pièces, I, mm Copyright 1981 by Boosey & Hawkes Music Publishers Ltd. Copyright Renewed. Reprinted by permission of Boosey & Hawkes, Inc. Ex Britten, Six Metamorphoses after Ovid, I, mm Copyright 1952 by Hawkes & Son (London) Ltd. Copyright Renewed. Reprinted by permission of Boosey & Hawkes, Inc. The main technical difficulties of the first movement of Cinq pièces are the notes in the high register, the fast and rather awkward grace notes, and the codetta s subito fortissimo on the low D. The metronome marking indicates half note = about 100, which is a very quick tempo for this complex movement. Combinations of notes that may be manageable at a slower speed become more problematic at a much faster tempo. The high E s and Ef s of this movement are difficult because of their musical context. The rapid changes of register, such as in mm. 1-2, 15-17, and 44-45, require split-second shifts from the controlled, slightly open embouchure needed for a piano low Cs, to the tighter, more closed embouchure needed for the high E. The performer must be careful to attack each high note securely, without letting it become sharp in pitch or unfocused in quality. Probably the most technically difficult measure in the movement is m. 47 (see Ex. 5.7). Because of the increased rhythmic motion, it is hard to accomplish the necessary change of fingerings for high E in time. There are two alternate fingerings which may be helpful; one for high Ds and one for high E. Both use the third octave key: Ds: Use the half-hole and third and fourth fingers of the left hand with the B key and the 3rd octave key. E: Use the half-hole and third and fourth fingers of the left hand with the Gs key and the 3rd octave key. The grace notes in the second half of beat 4 in mm. 17 and 47 are also problematic extremely fast and difficult to place exactly in time before the last eighth note. To facilitate this, the grace notes can be started a tiny bit early, and the last note of the measure cut off slightly early. The downbeats of mm. 18 and 48 must be on time; otherwise, the grasshopper may sound as if it is hesitating or off balance.
47 THE DOUBLE REED 45 Ex Dorati, Cinq pièces, I, mm Copyright 1981 by Boosey & Hawkes Music Publishers Ltd. Copyright Renewed. Reprinted by permission of Boosey & Hawkes, Inc. The last measure of this movement causes problems because of both the pitch and the dynamic change. It is always challenging to slur an octave down to a low D. This is usually done by opening or loosening the embouchure slightly during the slur, or by moving the lips farther towards the tip of the reed, but this method tends to increase the volume slightly between the two slurred notes. In m. 92, a diminuendo is marked, extending until the fortissimo low D; so in this case, oboists must open their embouchures, and/or move towards the tip of the reed, without making a crescendo. Because this movement employs both the extreme high and low registers and requires a good fortissimo in the low register, it would be helpful to use a flexible, slightly more open reed. This type of reed would also more easily produce the subito fortissimo on the low D in the last measure, because it would be more likely to pop open with the sudden release of lip pressure. There were actually two printings made of this work, both by Boosey & Hawkes and both published in The original edition has a red cover, and the second edition, called the corrected printing, has a green cover. According to oboists Richard Killmer and Heinz Holliger, in the first edition there was a rest missing in m. 79 of movement I. 13 This error was corrected in the second printing; however, the mistakes in other movements were left uncorrected. Movement 2, Love Letter, is marked Andante, with the words molto dolce ed espressivo under the staff, meaning very sweetly and expressively. This movement in 3/4 meter is essentially in the key of A minor. It contains several eight-measure phrases, with two-measure repetitions. There is no clear structure, other than an amorphous ABA form, with the B section beginning at m. 25, and the A at m. 51. Although this form is not obvious, it is definitely heard by the listener, primarily because of the strong rhythmic motive of m. 1, (a quarter note followed by a half note,) which is stated thirteen times by m. 37. It is then not used for fourteen measures during the second half of the B section, but in m. 51 is immediately recognizable as a return to the earlier material. A love letter is, by nature, meant for one reader. Dorati communicates this sense of privacy by beginning and ending the movement quietly. In his liner notes, Dorati described this movement as follows: The Love Letter, felt as an intimate and tender message, could contain a sentence such as... and don t forget to put on your warm socks..., such as occurs in real love letters. 14 The letter becomes more passionate in mm , where the dynamic changes to predominantly mezzo-forte. In this middle section, the writer s emotions are expressed more directly. The climax of the movement, in tessitura and dynamic, comes in mm , where the range is suddenly extended to high E and the dynamic is forte for the first time. In m. 36, Dorati also includes a mordent on the high Ds, the only ornamental figure in the whole movement. Yet there is perhaps a stronger, more emotional peak closer to the end of the movement, in m. 50. Here the musical line climbs from low C slowly up to high C, encompassing two octaves. There is also a forte marked for the low C and a crescendo to the apex. This event is more dramatic because of the change in register and incorporation of chromaticism (see Ex. 5.8). Ex Dorati, Cinq pièces, II, mm Copyright 1981 by Boosey & Hawkes Music Publishers Ltd. Copyright Renewed. Reprinted by permission of Boosey & Hawkes, Inc.
48 46 DORATI S CINQ PIÈCES (THE SIX OBOE WORKS BY ANTAL DORATI, PART IV) The rhythmic motive of a quarter note followed by a half note is prevalent throughout the movement. Although this sarabande rhythm does not give Lettre d amour a dance-like quality, it does instill in this movement the feelings of gentleness and tenderness often associated with a sarabande movement of a Baroque suite. It is interesting to note the similarity between this second movement and Béla Bartók s Hungarian Pictures, movement III, particularly the sarabande rhythm and the regular phrasing (see Ex. 5.9). 15 Bartók s work is indeed modeled on Hungarian folk music, so perhaps a similar folk song inspired Dorati. Ex Bartók, Hungarian Pictures, III, mm Copyright 1956 by Editio Musica. Used by permission. In performance, the sarabande rhythm should have almost equal weight on the first two beats. This generally requires placing slightly more emphasis on beat two, and less emphasis on the downbeat, which sounds strong because of its position. This balance works well in Lettre d amour for those measures with the quarter-note and half-note pattern, but is not recommended for the entire movement. In fact, mm and contain metric shifts into 2/4 that work against the 3/4 meter and should be played accordingly, with the emphasis on the first eighth note of each group of two beats (see Ex. 5.10). Ex Dorati, Cinq pièces, II, mm Copyright 1981 by Boosey & Hawkes Music Publishers Ltd. Copyright Renewed. Reprinted by permission of Boosey & Hawkes, Inc. Another interesting aspect of this second movement is Dorati s use of fermatas. There are two near the beginning, in mm. 10 and 12, two in mm. 22 and 24, and three near the end, in mm. 68, 70, and 72. The first two fermatas are marked lunga, meaning long or sustained, and molto lunga, meaning very long. The last three are marked lunga, molto lunga, and lunghissimo, indicating a more extended progression. Each of the notes with a fermata has a diminuendo as well, some even starting at pianissmo, as in mm. 11 and 23. Each held note lingers on and on, finally disappearing into the air. Since the tempo of this movement is already rather slow, and the smallest rhythmic subdivision is only an eighth-note triplet, these moments of inactivity are not really necessary to evoke a sense of calmness, but have a more subtle, and more significant, purpose. They create feelings of longing, of introspection, of intimacy, and of sensitivity, giving a sense of familiarity or closeness by imitating how a person stops and reflects while writing a love letter. The echo effect of mm and is also similar to someone repeating a phrase that is especially meaningful or heartfelt. Although the fermatas stop the momentum, they do allow time for both performer and listener to think about what has been stated and to simply enjoy the sweetness of a single note, just as one may take great pleasure in remembering a single word or kiss. Dorati suggested the use of harmonics in m. 71 by putting harmonic markings in parentheses above the measure. These notes can, of course, be effective either way. Because harmonics are naturally softer and more covered or hollow sounding, the dynamic differences of piano, più piano, and pianissimo are easier to produce using harmonic fingerings. In his recording, Holliger chose to play this measure with harmonics, and it is extremely effective. The simple poignancy of this movement is truly touching and contrasts beautifully with the exuberance and intensity of the preceding movement. One of the most difficult aspects of performing this movement is breathing. Since the oboist must play almost continuously for the entire movement, it is important that the he or she always maintain the musical line. Ideally, breaths should be quiet and inconspicuous, occurring during the natural breaks between phrases. For this reason, all the breaths in this movement are best taken at barlines, because every phrase ends there. Dorati actually wrote in nine breath marks. They stand for breaths, of course, but they also imply clear breaks in the phrases. The breath indicated before m. 45 is especially important, because it allows the performer to play through the six-measure climactic phrase, mm , breathing again afterwards where the A section begins. Other places in this movement where Holliger chose to breathe in his recording were between mm. 32 and 33, 50 and 51, 56 and 57, and 62 and 63.
49 THE DOUBLE REED 47 Movement 3 is a remarkable serial fugue in three voices. In his liner notes, Dorati described this movement as follows: The fugue confronts the interpreter with the diffi cult task at the limit of what is possible, namely of suggesting the intertwining of three different parts on an instrument which can produce only one note at a time. If this can be executed the small real fugue (with a pedal point and other features) could appear as a cheerful tour de force. 16 Acknowledging the difficulty of this movement, Dorati presents the oboist with the fantastic challenge of creating three, aurally distinct, independent lines of music. This movement was discussed by Andrea Zieger in her master s thesis, The Polyphonic Network of a Single-Line Fugue: A Kurthian Perspective on the Fugue à trois voix of Antal Dorati s Cinq pièces pour le hautbois. 17 Zieger s paper focuses mainly on music cognition and the eleven criteria which affect the listener s ability to distinguish between the three independent voices throughout the movement. 18 The paper does include significant analysis, of which only the main points will be mentioned here. Under the title of this movement is the direction to see Appendix for open score. 19 In the Appendix, Dorati provides a score with the three voices of the fugue written out on separate lines. The study of this open score is highly beneficial for understanding the structure of this movement. The subject of this fugue is a twelve-tone row. For simplicity, since all three voices lie in the treble staff, they will be referred to in this paper as soprano, alto, and tenor. The row first appears in mm. 1-4 in the tenor voice (see Ex. 5.11). Ex Dorati, Cinq pièces, III, mm Copyright 1981 by Boosey & Hawkes Music Publishers Ltd. Copyright Renewed. Reprinted by permission of Boosey & Hawkes, Inc. The row in prime form is as follows: Dorati introduces this row beginning on D (P2). As Zieger notes, the pitch intervals of the row generally diminish in size, decreasing from an 11 to a 9, to a 6, to a 4, to a 2, and finally to a 1. This gives the subject a unique contour and conveniently confines the theme to less than an octave in compass. 20 The second statement of the row, in mm. 5-8, begins on A (P9), a fifth higher, in the alto voice. This is the standard arrangement for an eighteenth-century fugue: a tonal answer at the interval of a perfect fifth. The third statement of the row, mm. 9-13, is presented by the soprano voice, beginning on E (P4), a perfect fifth higher than the alto entrance. Zieger provides a detailed Forte set-class analysis of the fugue, observing that Dorati employed mainly the set-classes 3-3, 3-5, and Zieger also suggests that the row is comprised of four distinct motives and that the set-class of each motive is developed throughout the fugue (see Ex. 5.12). 22 Ex Dorati, Cinq pièces, III, mm Copyright 1981 by Boosey & Hawkes Music Publishers Ltd. Copyright Renewed. Reprinted by permission of Boosey & Hawkes, Inc. Zieger divides the Fugue à trois voix into five sections: Exposition: mm Middle Entries: mm Episode: mm Final Section: mm Coda: mm
50 48 DORATI S CINQ PIÈCES (THE SIX OBOE WORKS BY ANTAL DORATI, PART IV) In Zieger s diagram, all of these sections except the Coda are divided into sub-sections: mm , 37-39, and are labeled Episodes, primarily based on the set-class Yet based on the changes in rhythmic motion and melodic texture throughout the movement, Zieger s divisions seem inappropriate. The first statements of the row in stretto are completed by the end of m. 19, and the fragmented motives in m. 20 that follow may be heard as something new. In addition, at the end of m. 25, after continuous sixteenth-note movement for two and a half measures, the entrance of the subject in inversion is also noticeably different. Although it was already introduced at the end of m. 20, the inverted subject here is marked with accents, tenutos, and staccatos. The rests in beats 2 and 3 of m. 26 also call attention to this change in direction. The railroad tracks printed after the Ds in m. 29 indicate that the composer intended the performer to make a brief pause at that point (see Ex. 5.13). Furthermore, the pick-up to m. 30 is marked piano and dolce, contrasting with the previous section of forte, più forte, and fortissimo. Measure 40 contains a fresh set of stretto entrances, even more tightly spaced. Measure 45, however, most definitely marks the beginning of a new section, with the sudden change to the repeatedly accented pedal on low D in the tenor voice, and added markings of fortissimo and molto marcato. Ex Dorati, Cinq pièces, III, mm Copyright 1981 by Boosey & Hawkes Music Publishers Ltd. Copyright Renewed. Reprinted by permission of Boosey & Hawkes, Inc. Based on these observations, the movement would be better divided as follows: Exposition: mm Stretto Entries: mm Episode: mm Stretto Entries in Inversion: mm Episode: mm Faster Stretto Entries: mm Final Section: mm Coda: mm This scheme more closely follows that of an 18th-century fugue, in which episodes occur between thematic entrances. The exposition ends in m. 13 with the completion of the soprano s statement of the row. Measures contain a second series of entries, this time in stretto. The fifth-relations are continued and the same order of entries is followed. In mm a third set of entries in stretto is presented, but the entrance order is reversed (SAT), and portions of the subject are in diminution as well as in inversion (in the tenor voice.) The falling major seventh and rising major sixth of mm. 1-2 are used in the original version, in inversion, and in reverse order for mm Beginning at the end of m. 25, the entrances of the subject are actually row motives in inversion. The three voices are again in stretto and appear in the same order (SAT) as in m. 20, but the row in the tenor voice is truncated, ending in m. 29. The second episode, beginning with the eighth-note pick-up to m. 30, is based on motive 4 in augmentation, in inversion, or in combination with other intervals from the subject, such as the major seventh of motive 1, the minor seconds of motives 2, 3, and 4, the major sixth of motive 2, and the tritone of motive 3. This episode also contains notes of the original row rearranged, such as the four notes C B F Fs of mm. 2-3, which become the F C B Fs of mm The return of the row subject, the high Dn eighth-note pick-up to m. 40, is marked forte with an accent and a tenuto and therefore clearly distinguished by both register and dynamic from the previous episode, which ends piano on a low Ds. This last section of stretto entrances is even more tightly spaced. This time, there are no rests between voice entries, and all three voices are marked forte with accents. The entrances occur in the same order as in m. 20 (SAT), and each voice is separated by the interval of a perfect fourth. Motive 4 is no longer audibly discernible when it occurs in the extremely fast stretto entries of mm , but it is certainly traceable in the open score. The final section, mm , is based on the primary intervals of the row: the major seventh, the minor second, the major sixth, and the tritone. The Coda, marked Adagio with many changes of tempo,
51 THE DOUBLE REED 49 is also melodically based on the original row. In mm , the row reappears in its original form (P2), but with the last four notes rearranged (beats 3 and 4 of m. 54 are the retrograde of m. 4). The pitches of m. 55 through the first two notes of m. 56 are the original row (P2) in retrograde, without the En. The notes of mm are also the retrograde of mm. 1-2, minus the En. The significance of the missing En at the end of this movement is not clear; an E appears for the last time in m. 53 (see Ex. 5.14). Ex Dorati, Cinq pièces, III, mm Copyright 1981 by Boosey & Hawkes Music Publishers Ltd. Copyright Renewed. Reprinted by permission of Boosey & Hawkes, Inc. This complex movement is certainly a challenge to perform. It is crucial to understand where each voice enters, and how the voices interact with the others. For this reason, as stated earlier, a thorough study of the open score is highly recommended. From a technical standpoint, the most difficult part is the section of sixteenth-note triplets, mm (see Ex. 5.15). The maximum tempo at which the performer is able to play these triplets basically determines his or her overall tempo for this movement. It is important to practice these measures slowly at first, increasing the tempo only as the notes become more familiar and secure. Ex Dorati, Cinq pièces, III, m. 43. Copyright 1981 by Boosey & Hawkes Music Publishers Ltd. Copyright Renewed. Reprinted by permission of Boosey & Hawkes, Inc. Because dynamic changes are often used to differentiate between the voices, this movement requires the performer to constantly adjust his or her embouchure to produce sudden changes from pianissimo all the way to fortissimo. For some sections, the recognizability of the three voices depends on the performer s ability to convey subtle differences in dynamics, such as m. 13, which requires the distinct dynamics of forte for beat 1, mezzo-forte for beat 2, mezzo-piano for beat 3, and piano for beat 4 (see Ex. 5.16). Ex Dorati, Cinq pièces, III, m. 13. Copyright 1981 by Boosey & Hawkes Music Publishers Ltd. Copyright Renewed. Reprinted by permission of Boosey & Hawkes, Inc. There is one discrepancy between the regular oboe part for this movement and the open-score version. Measure 52 of the oboe part contains a decrescendo with a subito piano on the final Gs (see Ex. 5.17a). However, m. 52 of the open-score version contains a crescendo with a subito piano on the final Gs (see Ex. 5.17b). Musically, it makes more sense to have a subito piano following a crescendo than a decrescendo. This choice also seems logical because of the accents on three notes. Nevertheless, either interpretation could be performed convincingly. Ex. 5.17a. Dorati, Cinq pièces, III, mm Copyright 1981 by Boosey & Hawkes Music Publishers Ltd. Copyright Renewed. Reprinted by permission of Boosey & Hawkes, Inc.
52 50 DORATI S CINQ PIÈCES (THE SIX OBOE WORKS BY ANTAL DORATI, PART IV) Ex. 5.17b. Dorati, Cinq pièces, Appendix, mm Copyright 1981 by Boosey & Hawkes Music Publishers Ltd. Copyright Renewed. Reprinted by permission of Boosey & Hawkes, Inc. There are also a few mistakes in the open-score version of this movement. Zieger proposes that there is a mistake in m. 21 of the open score. She suggests that the G, Cs, and D (in beat 1), instead of being in the alto voice as printed, should be in the soprano voice. 24 Although this change would give a logical, more balanced interplay of voices, it is not out of the question that the printed version is correct, since the notes are not in question, and there is only motivic use of the row for that measure (see Ex. 5.18). Ex Dorati, Cinq pièces, Appendix, mm Copyright 1981 by Boosey & Hawkes Music Publishers Ltd. Copyright Renewed. Reprinted by permission of Boosey & Hawkes, Inc. Zieger also mentions two mistakes in mm of the open score. The Ds grace note in m. 28 should be in the soprano voice, not in the alto as printed. 25 Both because of its register and because it completes the row motive (or set-class 3-5) in the soprano voice, this correction seems valid. Zieger also suggests that the middle-register Cs which forms the first note of m. 29 should be in the alto voice. 26 This seems to makes sense because the Cs is completes the final row motive (or set-class 4-1), as well as the entire row statement, in the alto voice. This would also make the entry similar to the following two entries in the same measure (see Ex. 5.19). Zieger mentions one other mistake: the first Cs in m. 31 should be a Ds. 27 It is printed correctly in the oboe part. Ex Dorati, Cinq pièces, Appendix, mm Copyright 1981 by Boosey & Hawkes Music Publishers Ltd. Copyright Renewed. Reprinted by permission of Boosey & Hawkes, Inc.
53 THE DOUBLE REED 51 This three-voiced movement could be compared with several other oboe works which project multiple voices. The Baroque concept of two independent, interweaving lines is demonstrated in works such as Georg Phillip Telemann s Fantaisies for the flute, in which the soloist must make the voices aurally distinguishable through dynamics and articulation. Luciano Berio s Sequenza VII achieves a three-dimensional character by the use of several alternate fingerings combined with a drone. Narcissus from Benjamin Britten s Six Metamorphoses after Ovid consists of two separate voices that converge into one. Similarly, Karlheinz Stockhausen s In Friendship contains three voices which move closer and closer together until they meet. The work requires the oboist to physically show this three-dimensional effect with three different bell positions. The same technique could be applied to Cinq pièces, movement III; however, the rapid interaction between Dorati s voices would make it extremely difficult to significantly change positions for each voice. Movement 4 bears the title Berceuse, which means lullaby. This movement is essentially in the key of E-flat minor, but it is pentatonic in quality and sounds almost oriental. The six flats are arranged, not in the usual manner, but as ascending on the staff with a duplicate Gf on the top space. Dorati wrote, The pentatonic lullaby is in the style of a folk-song, but is not a folk-song. 28 The phrases are extremely regular, in eight-measure groupings until the very end, with breath marks between phrases. The range is limited, only an eleventh, from low Df to top space Gf, and the melody is simple and somewhat vocal. The structure of this movement is clearly ABA, with A being an ornamented but truncated version of A: A = mm B = mm A = mm Dorati separated the sections with fermatas and double bars, as well as with different tempo markings, so the three-part structure is absolutely clear in this case. The A section is in 4/4 time but because of the prominent half-note movement is felt to be in a slow two rather than in four. This section is structured abb, in three eight-measure groups, with b being an ornamented version of b. Dorati gives the beginning tempo as Andante, tranquillo, meaning tranquil, and tenero, meaning tenderly or gently. No metronome marking is given, but a good tempo for sections A and A would be between 76 and 92 for a quarter-note. Breath marks are printed after every four measures, except for in m. 20. Here, because of the absence of the breath mark, the performer should purposely not take a breath and should connect the last two phrases of the section. The middle section of this movement is in 2/4 meter and marked Allegretto. This section should be slightly faster than Tempo I. Again, no metronome marking is given, so a moderate tempo should be chosen which allows the grace notes to fit comfortably in time and the sixteenth notes of mm to sound unhurried. Thus, an ideal tempo for the middle section is approximately 69 or 72 for a quarter note. This charming middle section is just sixteen measures long and made up of two eight-measure phrases divided by a printed breath mark. The second phrase is an ornamented version of the first, making a binary structure aa. Grace notes, passing tones, and neighbor tones are used to ornament the melody of the first phrase, giving it a more folk-like quality (see Ex. 5.20). Although this section is faster and more active than the previous one, it is still marked piano and should be played gently and smoothly to preserve the character of the lullaby. Ex Dorati, Cinq pièces, IV, mm Copyright 1981 by Boosey & Hawkes Music Publishers Ltd. Copyright Renewed. Reprinted by permission of Boosey & Hawkes, Inc. The last section, A, has only two parts, ab. The printed breath marks are in different places in the A section than in the A section. The breath mark printed after m. 45 could be interpreted as an indication that the performer should not take a breath between mm. 44 and 45. However, Killmer asserts that the breath mark after m. 45 is most certainly a printing error, and that the breath mark should be after m This is the more logical conclusion. There are no breath marks printed after the one before m. 49, so unless performers would like to implement circular breathing, they should breathe in the most natural place, after m. 52.
54 52 DORATI S CINQ PIÈCES (THE SIX OBOE WORKS BY ANTAL DORATI, PART IV) The last two measures function as an extension or prolongation of the previous phrase, mm The melodic material is simply an exact repetition of the pitches of mm These final two measures are marked pianissimo and, because of this and because of the delay in what was previously a continuous melody, they create the effect of an echo, as if the performer is disappearing into the distance. The fermatas on the Af and final Ef enhance this effect by allowing extra time for the sound to die away. This beautifully adds a sense of spaciousness and being outdoors. The Berceuse movement contains the marking improvvisando under the staff at the beginning, indicating that the performer should have a sense of spontaneity. When playing this movement, one should try to make each phrase sound as if it were being thought up at that moment, not as if it had been diligently practiced from a written page. For example, the performer could be less literal about the relative note values, or could take more time to breathe between phrases. The rhythm should certainly be less exact in general, otherwise the music will surely sound square and predetermined. This movement is marked con sordino, or with mute. Dorati wanted a soft, distant sound for this movement, and it was Holliger who proposed that it be muted. 30 It is very unusual, in fact, quite rare for oboe music to require a mute. One of the only composers to write for muted oboe was Johann Sebastian Bach, who requested that paper mutes be used in his St. Luke Passion. Besides paper, wool was also used, and a few pear-shaped wooden oboe mutes have survived from the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. 31 A wooden mute can be special-ordered from manufacturing companies such as Lorée in Paris, but it is not a regularly carried item. Most performers, including Holliger, use a piece of cloth (sometimes their swab or a sock), stuffed into the end of the bell. A slightly damp sponge may also be used. Whatever material is used, it should not be inserted past the B f resonance key, or else it will cause low-register notes to be distorted or not speak at all. The marking of via sordino, or without mute, is printed at the end of the movement, so after playing the final Ef, the mute should be removed before going on to the next movement. Because a mute dampens some of the vibrations of the instrument, the use of such a device provides even more contrast in dynamic and timbre between the movements of this work. Movement 5 is titled Légerdemain, a French word which translates as prestidigitation, sleight of hand, or word play, but could be thought of as just magic. This movement is a musical depiction of a show being enthusiastically performed by a magician. The two sections of the movement are labeled Le spiel and Le trick. In his liner notes, Dorati wrote: The last piece, Légerdemain, is in two parts. In the opening recitative the magician speaks to his audience; then he performs his tricks as a juggler in the fast main section which is a travesty of a polka. 32 The opening recitative, mm. 1-16, contains a great deal of rubato. Measure 6 is marked lento accelerando, with the rhythmic values simultaneously increasing in speed, from eighth notes to a triplet to a quintuplet, then finally a trill in m. 7 (see Ex. 5.21). Similarly, mm are marked lento, accelerando molto. In this dramatic section, one can just imagine a magician with a top hat and a large swinging cape, waving his arms to welcome the crowd. Ex Dorati, Cinq pièces, V, mm Copyright 1981 by Boosey & Hawkes Music Publishers Ltd. Copyright Renewed. Reprinted by permission of Boosey & Hawkes, Inc. Dorati employs the techniques of retrograde and inversion many times in this movement, creating a sort of musical mirror imagery. This seems extremely à propos, considering that many magicians use mirrors to perform their tricks. The first instance of this technique occurs in the Spiel section, in m. 16, where the three grace notes are the retrograde of the three grace notes of m. 15. (Note: Measure 16 is printed incorrectly in the published score; see page 55.) The second part, mm , represents the main event or spectacle. This section is very fast, marked plus or minus 144 for a quarter note, and contains an accelerando to a final Presto section. The Trick section is made up of regular eight-measure phrases, all the way through to the end, if the beginning of the Presto in m. 89 is considered to be a long pick-up. This conservative phrase structure to some extent conceals the amazingly intricate pitch organization. The first eighteen pitches (Series 1), mm ,
55 THE DOUBLE REED 53 form the melodic basis of this section and are repeated eight times in exactly the same order, if not in the same register (see Ex. 5.22). Sections of the pitch series are also repeated in exactly the same order. Series 1 Ex Dorati, Cinq pièces, V, mm Copyright 1981 by Boosey & Hawkes Music Publishers Ltd. Copyright Renewed. Reprinted by permission of Boosey & Hawkes, Inc. Series 1 is intriguing because it is built around repetitive intervallic patterns arranged symmetrically with their retrograde. Measure 17 contains a rising major second, Af to Bf, then a falling major second, B to A. Measure 18 contains a rising major third, C to E, followed by a falling major third, Fs to D. Measure 19 contains two rising major seconds followed by two falling seconds. In addition, the thirteenth, fourteenth, fifteenth, and sixteenth pitches of Series 1, G, Fs, E, Ef, are inversions of the first four pitches, G, Af, Bf, Bn. Series 1 is used in its complete form in the following measures: 17-20, 33-35, 36-38, 39-42, 50-52, 59-65, 66-69, and Series 1 also appears in truncated form in mm , 30-32, and Though the pitches of mm may seem unrelated at first glance, they are actually a transposition of Series 1 up a perfect fifth (which becomes down a perfect fourth in m. 27 because of the change in register). Measures contain the same transposition. In addition, the pitches of mm , the end of Series 1, are employed in mm , 47-48, and See Appendix for the complete diagram. The six pitches following the first occurrence of Series 1, m. 21 plus the first note of m. 22, function as a kind of extension to Series 1, and will be referred to as Series 2. Series 2 Series 2 most frequently appears immediately before or after Series 1, or in between repetitions of it. These six pitches are usually found in almost the opposite order to mm : in retrograde, with every two notes reversed, as in mm (see Ex. 5.23). Ex Dorati, Cinq pièces, V, mm Copyright 1981 by Boosey & Hawkes Music Publishers Ltd. Copyright Renewed. Reprinted by permission of Boosey & Hawkes, Inc. Series 2 is used in measures 38-39, 43-44, 45-47, 49-50, 56-57, 58-59, 65-66, and (Again, see Appendix for the diagram.) Series 2 is also employed in mm , but the pitches appear in a different order. Measures 28 (the last note) -29 also contain Series 2, but in its original order and transposed up a perfect fifth. Thus, every pitch in the Trick section from m. 17 through beat one of m. 73 is exactly related to either Series 1 or Series 2. Beginning with m. 73, however, the connection to these series becomes less clearly defined. In mm and 77-78, Dorati first presents the inversion of the first four pitches of Series 1 (or the thirteenth through sixteenth pitches of Series 1), then the first four pitches of Series 1.
56 54 DORATI S CINQ PIÈCES (THE SIX OBOE WORKS BY ANTAL DORATI, PART IV) The technique of juxtaposing four notes with their inversion is continued in m. 74 (see Ex. 5.24). This entire four-measure phrase, mm , is then repeated in mm , but with each set of four notes (each beat) appearing in the opposite order in each measure (beat 1 becomes beat 2, and beat 2 becomes beat 1). Ex Dorati, Cinq pièces, V, mm Copyright 1981 by Boosey & Hawkes Music Publishers Ltd. Copyright Renewed. Reprinted by permission of Boosey & Hawkes, Inc. Measures 68 and 72 contain notes written as x s, with staccatos, and the marking ruvido, meaning rudely. These two measures both seem to function as an interruption in the phrase, or in this case, in the event. The two notes b f and a represent the lowest and highest notes generally possible on the oboe. (Of course, a few oboists now have the capability to reach low A, and many oboists can produce notes up to c.) The purpose of these interruptions is not stated. These measures could be considered noises from the crowd (such as a whistle, a shout, or a scream), or from an animal on stage (the squawk of a bird, etc.). According to Holliger, these interruptions are the moments when the magician tries to lift a heavy weight and drops it. 33 These notes could also signify the magician dropping something that he or she is juggling. In any case, each of these notes should be played loudly and forcefully. In her recording, Doherty uses multiphonics for these notes. The cadenza-like material of mm is based on Series 1, but with a pedal point on g, all other notes being from Series 1. In mm , the notes other than the high G s are the retrograde of the fifth through thirteenth pitches of Series 1. Although this derivation is interesting in theory, in practice what is most important for this section is to emphasize the notes of the melodic material and to de-emphasize the repeated high G s. Thus, one should bring out (or play slightly louder and longer) the bottom notes in mm and 87-88, and the top notes where the line switches in mm This is similar to the way in which one would play a compound-melody in a work from the Baroque period. The accelerando is also vital to this section and should reach the tempo of the following Presto. The Presto section at the end of the movement does not seem to contain any obvious use of either Series 1 or Series 2, although the intervallic relationships are based on Series 1. Therefore, Dorati s direct use of the series could be said to end at m. 89. It is fascinating that the notes from beat 2 of m. 100 through the first note of m. 101 are exactly the same as in the seventh and eighth measures after rehearsal #14 in the oboe part of Poulenc s Trio for Oboe, Bassoon and Piano, movement I. 34 Although a mere five notes in common may seem trivial, this quote is unmistakable for those familiar with the Trio, and recognition suddenly creates an association between this ending and the pure delight of the Poulenc trio. One other unique aspect of this work is Dorati s use of text in this movement. The three words included are directly linked to the title. At the beginning, under the staff, appear the words, Messieurs... mesdames! [Ladies and gentlemen]. This text explains what is happening: the magician is asking the audience for their attention. The text is merely for the performer s understanding and is not meant to be uttered out loud, although the rhythm of the notes in mm. 1 and 2 is written to actually imitate the rhythm of the French words and should be played thus. At the end of the movement, in mm , the performer is asked to actually speak the word voilà, which is the equivalent of ta-da in English. There are no note-heads, but approximate pitch is indicated, as well as rhythm. Since musicians are rarely called upon by composers to speak words during a piece, this spoken text always comes as a surprise to an audience. Consequently, this ending is absolutely charming. The tonality of G is strongly asserted throughout this movement. Series 1 of Le trick begins on G; thus, each time Series 1 is employed, a G appears, often on a strong beat. The section of pedal on high G, mm , reiterates the importance of that pitch. After temporarily ending on an Fs in m. 103, the melody finally resolves with a rising perfect fourth from D up to G in mm This solidifies the tonal association with G major and creates a sort of a musical happy ending for the entire work. There are several mistakes in the printed score for movement 5. The first is in m. 8 (see Ex. 5.25). The low G in this measure is Gn, and because the high G at the end of the measure is also Gn, the low G really should have a natural sign in front of it for clarity.
57 THE DOUBLE REED 55 Ex Dorati, Cinq pièces, V, m. 8. Copyright 1981 by Boosey & Hawkes Music Publishers Ltd. Copyright Renewed. Reprinted by permission of Boosey & Hawkes, Inc. A second mistake is in m. 16. The notes of m. 16 should be Cs, D, Ef, D natural (the same notes as the grace notes in m. 15 but in the opposite order). Richard Killmer was told by Holliger that in the first printing, the publisher inadvertently omitted the flat in front of the E, and in the second printing, the publisher put the flat in front of the D instead of the E. 35 This correction makes sense because of Dorati s frequent use of retrograde in this movement, and because there is no real reason to have Cs and Df in the same measure (see Ex. 5.26). Ex Dorati, Cinq pièces, V, mm Copyright 1981 by Boosey & Hawkes Music Publishers Ltd. Copyright Renewed. Reprinted by permission of Boosey & Hawkes, Inc. The second mistake is in m. 33. To preserve the sequence of pitches in Series 1, the sixth note of the measure should be C. All other occurrences of Series 1 always contain a C after the A. A B in m. 33 would be the only deviation from Series 1 in the entire movement. In addition, having examined other manuscripts by Dorati, the author has found that it is often extremely difficult to decipher the correct notes and markings because of the composer s not-so-neat penmanship. Therefore, the B in m. 33 should be changed to a C, up a half-step, to make measure 33 consistent with the rest of the movement (see Ex. 5.27). Ex Dorati, Cinq pièces, V, mm Copyright 1981 by Boosey & Hawkes Music Publishers Ltd. Copyright Renewed. Reprinted by permission of Boosey & Hawkes, Inc. One other possible mistake is in m. 66. The staccatto marking on the first C is not possible because there is a slur over the entire measure (see Ex. 5.28). Killmer chooses to slur from the Cs rather than from the Cn. 36 This makes a great deal of sense to the author, especially because a similar (but shorter) phrase follows in m. 67. Ex Dorati, Cinq pièces, V, mm Copyright 1981 by Boosey & Hawkes Music Publishers Ltd. Copyright Renewed. Reprinted by permission of Boosey & Hawkes, Inc.
58 56 DORATI S CINQ PIÈCES (THE SIX OBOE WORKS BY ANTAL DORATI, PART IV) Probably the most similar twentieth-century oboe work to Dorati s Cinq pièces is Benjamin Britten s Six Metamorphoses after Ovid, Op. 49, written in This work is made up of six movements, all with programmatic references to Greek mythological characters: I. Pan, II. Phaeton, III. Niobe, IV. Bacchus, V. Narcissus, VI. Arethusa. Each movement is through-composed with multiple sections and tempos. Four of the six are in a generalized ABA form, with the last section being a return to, or a modified version of, the first. Although the overall length is longer than the Dorati piece, Britten s contains fewer technical obstacles. While the Britten piece is entirely suitable for most undergraduate students, Dorati s is better assigned to advanced undergraduate or graduate students. One other similar twentieth-century unaccompanied work for oboe is Évocations by Henri Tomasi, premiered in It can be played on oboe, English horn, or alto saxophone. The four movements again all have programmatic titles: 1. Péruvienne [Peruvian], 2. Nigérienne [Nigerian], 3. Cambodgienne (Asparas) [Cambodian], and 4. Écossaise [Scottish]. As in Britten s Six Metamorphoses, each movement is basically through-composed with several smaller sections and many variations of tempo. The overall length is listed in the score as 9 minutes and 15 seconds, making it slightly shorter than both the Britten and Dorati pieces. 39 While the Tomasi Évocations is quite virtuosic, it is probably slightly less difficult than the Dorati Cinq pièces, but slightly more difficult than the Britten Six Metamorphoses. The Britten work has certainly been performed far more often, but Tomasi s is gaining in popularity, as is Dorati s. All three works are extremely imaginative and offer a wide range of technical and interpretive challenges for the oboist. Dorati s Cinq pièces pour le hautbois is an important addition to the solo oboe repertoire. With its wide variety of colors, moods, programmatic associations, and compositional techniques, Cinq pièces is sure to captivate performers and audiences alike. This fascinating work provides an enchanting mixture of vibrant energy, technical brilliance, quiet tenderness, intellectual savvy, and heartfelt joy. ELIZABETH ROBERTSON holds a Doctor of Music degree in Oboe Literature and Performance from Indiana University. She currently serves as Consortium Instructor of Oboe at the University of Evansville and principal oboe of the Evansville Philharmonic Orchestra. She has performed with many orchestras, including the Louisville Orchestra, Indianapolis Symphony, and Grand Rapids Symphony. She is also principal oboe of the Lancaster Festival in Ohio. ENDNOTES 1 Antal Dorati, Cinq pièces pour le hautbois (London: Boosey & Hawkes, 1981), 2. 2 Dorati, Cinq pièces, 2. 3 Antal Dorati, Liner notes for Antal Dorati, Duo Concertante; Cinq pièces pour le hautbois seul; Trittico; Heinz Holliger, oboe, oboe d amore, English horn; András Schiff, piano; Basel Symphony Orchestra conducted by Antal Dorati (Philips , 1986), LP. 4 Dorati, Cinq pièces, verso of title page. 5 Calum MacDonald, Antal Dorati; Composer: A Catalogue of His Works, Tempo no. 143 (December 1982), 24; Dorati Web site: accessed 18 December MacDonald, A Catalogue of His Works, 24; Dorati Web site. 7 Dorati, Liner notes for Philips (LP), Kitty Muggeridge, trans., Fables from La Fontaine including his Life of Aesop, illustrated by J. B. Oudry (London: Collins, 1973), Frances Barnes-Murphy, The Fables of Aesop (New York: Lothrop, Lee & Shepard Books, 1994), Of the four Jungian personality types, the grasshopper is typical of the Sanguine type, enthusiastically enjoying life while avoiding drudgery and work. According to the Myers-Briggs system of personality analysis, the grasshopper would be a P, the Perceiving type, characterized by spontaneity and lack of (or dislike of) detailed planning. In the Enneagram system, the grasshopper would most likely be the Seven, or the Adventurer, characterized by a preference for variety, an avoidance of routine and worry, and a generally positive outlook. 11 Of the four Jungian personality types, the ant is the Choleric type, primarily concerned with work and power (or control). People with this temperament often lack compassion or sympathy for others who do not meet their standards. In the Myers-Briggs system, the ant would be a J, the type that enjoys planning ahead in detail, organization, and structure. The SJ type (Sensing and Judging),
59 THE DOUBLE REED 57 in particular, is stable and practical, is motivated primarily by duty and responsibility, and sometimes has difficulty relaxing and having fun. In the Enneagram system, the ant would most likely be the One, or the Perfectionist, the ultimate planner, who is conscientious, hard-working, serious, and reliable. Perfectionists tend to constantly worry about future security and feel disappointed or offended by those who do not meet their expectations. 12 Benjamin Britten, Six Metamorphoses after Ovid, Op. 49 (London: Boosey & Hawkes, 1952); score. 13 Richard Killmer, Rochester, New York, phone conversation with the author, 18 March 2002; Holliger, phone conversation with the author, 16 April Dorati, Liner notes for Philips (LP), Béla Bartók, Hungarian Pictures (Budapest: Editio Musica, 1956), miniature score. 16 Dorati, Liner notes for Philips (LP), Andrea Zieger, The Polyphonic Network of a Single-line Fugue: a Kurthian Perspective on the Fugue à trois voix of Antal Dorati s Cinq pièces pour le hautbois (M.M. thesis, Florida State University, 1998). 18 Ernst Kurth ( ) was a music theorist who emphasized psychology and intuition in his work; his publications include five books and two large essays. He pioneered efforts to analyze and understand our ability to recognize broad linear continuities. His book on counterpoint, Grundlagen des linearen Kontrapunkts (1917), established an approach to the analysis of Bach s music which favors linear-melodic considerations over harmony. Kurth asserts that in compound melody, there are two levels of activity: the actual voice and the apparent voice(s) created between non-adjacent tones. Zieger integrates the psychological principles of Kurth and Gestalt principles of perception in her analysis of Dorati s Fugue à trois voix. 19 Dorati, Cinq pièces, Zieger, Polyphonic Network, This type of twentieth-century analysis uses Forte set-class notation, a labeling system for groups of notes classified according to the number of notes and their intervallic relationships to C. 22 Zieger, Polyphonic Network, Zieger, Polyphonic Network, Zieger, Polyphonic Network, Zieger, Polyphonic Network, Zieger, Polyphonic Network, Zieger, Polyphonic Network, Dorati, Liner notes for Philips (LP), Killmer, phone conversation with the author, 18 March Holliger, phone conversation with the author, 16 April Anthony Baines, Woodwind Instruments and Their History, 3rd ed. (London: Faber & Faber, 1967; reprint, New York: Dover Publications, Inc., 1991), Dorati, Liner notes for Philips (LP), Holliger, phone conversation with the author, 16 April Francis Poulenc, Trio pour piano, hautbois et basson (Copenhagen: Wilhelm Hansen, 1926, 1954), score and parts. 35 Killmer, phone conversation with the author, 18 March Killmer, phone conversation with the author, 18 March Britten, Six Metamorphoses after Ovid, score. 38 Henri Tomasi, Èvocations (Paris: Alphonse Leduc, 1969), score. 39 Tomasi, Èvocations, 1-5.Er seniametum aciliquisse facil iureet alis nulput nostrud dip erillaor sectet adigna aliquat
60 58 DORATI S CINQ PIÈCES (THE SIX OBOE WORKS BY ANTAL DORATI, PART IV) BIBLIOGRAPHY I. References Baines, Anthony. Woodwind Instruments and Their History, 3 rd ed. London: Faber & Faber, 1967; reprint, New York: Dover Publications, Inc., Barnes-Murphy, Frances. The Fables of Aesop. New York: Lothrop, Lee & Shepard Books, Dorati, Antal. Liner notes for Antal Dorati, Duo Concertant; Cinq pièces pour hautbois seul; Trittico. Heinz Holliger, oboe, oboe d amore, cor anglais; András Schiff, piano; Basel Symphony Orchestra conducted by Antal Dorati. Philips , Dorati Web sites: and biography.html; Internet. Accessed 13 January Goossens, Leon, and Edwin Roxburgh. Oboe. Yehudi Menuhin Music Guides Series. New York: Schirmer Books, Holliger, Heinz, Basel, Switzerland. Phone conversation with the author, 16 April Killmer, Richard, Rochester, New York. Phone conversation with the author, 18 March MacDonald, Calum. Antal Dorati; Composer: A Catalogue of his Works. Tempo no. 143 (December 1982): Muggeridge, Kitty, trans. Fables from La Fontaine including his Life of Aesop. Illustrated by J. B. Oudry. London: Collins, Zieger, Andrea Lea. The Polyphonic Network of a Single-Line Fugue: a Kurthian Perspective on the Fugue à trois voix of Antal Dorati s Cinq pièces pour le hautbois. M.M. thesis, Florida State University, II. Scores Bartók, Béla. Hungarian Pictures. Budapest: Editio Musica, Miniature score. Britten, Benjamin. Six Metamorphoses after Ovid, Op. 49 (1951). London: Boosey & Hawkes Music Publishers Ltd., Score. Dorati, Antal. Cinq pièces pour le hautbois. London: Boosey & Hawkes Music Publishers Ltd., Score. Poulenc, Francis. Trio pour piano, hautbois et basson. Copenhagen: Wilhelm Hansen, 1926, Score and parts. Tomasi, Henri. Èvocations. Paris: Alphonse Leduc, Score. III. Discography Doherty, Diana. Blues for D. D. Diana Doherty, oboe; David Korevaar, piano. ABC Classics , CD. Dorati, Antal. Chamber Music. Yeon-Hee Kwak, oboe, oboe d amore, English horn; Chia Chou, piano; Leipziger Streichquartett. Musikproduktion Dabringhaus und Grimm MDG , CD. Dorati, Antal. Duo Concertant; Cinq pièces pour hautbois seul; Trittico. Heinz Holliger, oboe, oboe d amore, English horn; András Schiff, piano; Basel Symphony Orchestra conducted by Antal Dorati. Philips , Phonorecord. Speller, Eric. Duo Concertant/Cinq pièces/trittico - Sonate. Eric Speller, oboe, oboe d amore, English horn; Olivier Peyrebrune, piano; Orchestre Royal Philharmonique des Flandres conducted by Pierre Bartholomée. Ambroisie AMB9933, CD.
61 THE DOUBLE REED 59 APPENDIX Diagram of the use of Series #1 and #2 in Cinq pièces, movement 5. Copyright 1981 by Boosey & Hawkes Music Publishers Ltd. Copyright Renewed. Reprinted by permission of Boosey & Hawkes, Inc.
62 60 DORATI S CINQ PIÈCES (THE SIX OBOE WORKS BY ANTAL DORATI, PART IV)
63 THE DOUBLE REED 61 Chamber Wind Music for Double Reeds by Eastman School of Music Composers Harrington E. Crissey, Jr., Elkins Park, Pennsylvania Christopher Weait, Columbus, Ohio INTRODUCTION I have produced Eastman School of Music alumni concerts on my own initiative since The concerts are free of charge to the general public, and I do them as a not-for-profit alumnus activity for the University of Rochester, of which Eastman is a part. Thus far, I have organized eleven of these concerts in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware and hope to do more around the country. The format is simple: Eastman alumni perform solo and chamber works by Eastman alumni and faculty composers, past and present. In order to aid performers in identifying Eastman composers, I have compiled a list of over eight hundred and fifty such people who have passed through the doors of the school since it opened in Furthermore, I have been categorizing these composers solo and chamber works according to each instrument of the orchestra. Such lists have proven valuable to alumni who are searching for something to play. In turn, the categorizing has led me to write to living composers and ask them to send me a complete list of their works, or failing that, at least a list of compositions for no more than a handful of performers. I have sent out 273 requests to date and received 112 replies. For those composers who are deceased or did not reply, I have relied heavily on American Composers: a Biographical Dictionary, by David Ewen (G.P.Putnam s Sons, New York, 1982) and Contemporary American Composers by E. Ruth Anderson (G.K.Hall and Co., Boston, 1982). For a few famous composers, I have consulted the New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, edited by Stanley Sadie (MacMillan Publishers Limited, 1980). Valuable sources of recent compositions are the University of Rochester alumni periodicals Rochester Review and Eastman Notes. Living composers have been located through alumni directories. What has emerged from my research is a veritable flood of works, many of them unpublished; and this is just the tip of the iceberg compared to what several hundred others have written. Remember that this is just part of one school s output. Imagine the whole of America, indeed the world! Christopher Weait, a good friend of thirty years standing, has made publication of selected portions of this material possible by generously processing it on his computer. A devotee of, and tireless advocate for, wind music, he has embraced the concept of my research. Together we wish to share it with you. If anyone wishes to contact a composer or composers concerning any work(s) on the following list, send me a SASE and I will be happy to help if I can. Harrington E. Crissey, Jr Elizabeth Road Elkins Park, PA Tel. 215/ ABOUT THE INSTRUMENTATION In order to save space, the instrumentation column uses a numerical code or short text. The code uses traditional orchestral score order preceded by a numeral (and colon) indicating the total number of players. Woodwinds are separated from brass by a dash (-). Thus: 6: indicates 6 players: 1 flute, 1 oboe, no clarinet, 1 bassoon, 1 horn, 1 trumpet, 1 trombone, no tuba or other instruments. Abbreviations within parentheses following the numerals indicate a particular instrument is required, thus: 5: (AFl, EH) means Alto Flute and English horn are required. A slash (/) indicates optional instrument(s) thus : Pa/Hchd indicates piano or harpsichord may be used. CONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE
64 62 CHAMBER WIND MUSIC FOR DOUBLE REEDS BY EASTMAN SCHOOL OF MUSIC COMPOSERS COMPOSER TITLE DATE INSTRUMENTATION PUBLISHER LENGTH Adler, Samuel Music for Eleven : , 5Pc Oxford 12 Adler, Samuel Four Studies : Presser 11 total Adler, Samuel Quintalogues : , Pc Ludwig 12 Adler, Samuel Intrada : Oxford 5 Adler, Samuel Songs with Winds : , Sop Oxford 9 Adler, Samuel Seven Epigrams : Oxford 10 Ahrendt, Karl 5 by :3 WW, Pa, Pc Albam, Manny woodwind quintets 5: Angelini, Louis Sextet 6: , Sx Aschaffenberg, W Concertino, Op /81 12:10 Winds, Vn, DB 17 Aschaffenberg, W Coalescence, Op : , Vc Aschaffenberg, W A Slight Music, Op : Aschaffenberg, W Quintet, Op : Baber, Joseph Trio 3: , Va, Pa Bach, J. S./T. R. George Prelude and Fugue, Eb (WTC II/7) : Baker, Claude Woodwind Quartet 4: Barlow, Wayne Trio : , Va, Pa Barlow, Wayne Trio : , Va, Pa Barlow, Wayne Prelude, Air & Variations : , St4, Pa Barrows, John March : Schirmer Barrows, John Pieces for woodwind quintet 5: Beall, John Trio Fantasy : , Pa 13 Beall, John Shaker Tunes: Free Variations : Beall, John Sextet : , Pa 20 Beall, John Whitewater : , St4 10 Beckler, S.R. Quotation from Mr. Agnew : , Va, Pa Beckler, S.R 4 woodwind quintets 1957/68 5: Benjamin, Thomas Four by Two : Benjamin, Thomas Bagatelles : Benjamin, Thomas Seascape : , Pc Benson, Warren Marche - Encore 5: Shawnee Bergsma, William Four All :3 Insts Bergsma, William Symmetries : , Pa Bergsma, William Concerto : Bergsma, William Changes for Seven 7: , Pa, Pc Beversdorf, S. Tho s Divertimento da Camera : , Hchd, DB Beversdorf, S. Tho s Prelude & Fugue : Blake, Braxton Octet : , 5Stg 14 Blumenfeld, Harold Expansions : Borden, David Three Pieces : Bottje, Will Gay Bandyings 2: , Gt ACA 11
65 THE DOUBLE REED 63 COMPOSER TITLE DATE INSTRUMENTATION PUBLISHER LENGTH Bottje, Will Gay Brief Acquaintances 3: , Vc ACA 8 30 Bottje, Will Gay Personalities 3: , Vc ACA 20 Bottje, Will Gay Dances: Solemn & Joyous 4: ACA 6 Bottje, Will Gay Little Sonata III 4: , Vn, smorg ACA 14 Bottje, Will Gay In Caverns All Alone, 6 songs 4: (2EH) ACA 18 Bottje, Will Gay Dune Music 4: , Vc, Pa ACA 15 Bottje, Will Gay Threesome for Four 4: , Pa ACA 9 30 Bottje, Will Gay The Country Wife Suite 4: ACA 12 Bottje, Will Gay Sprites & Phantoms 4: , Vc, Pa ACA 5 30 Bottje, Will Gay Threesome for Four 4: , Pa ACA 9 30 Bottje, Will Gay Quintet 5: , Vn, DB Bottje, Will Gay Quintet 5: , Vc, DB ACA 11 Bottje, Will Gay Country Wife-Suite 5: Bottje, Will Gay Quintet II 5: ACA 14 Bottje, Will Gay Fireflies 6: , St4, Hchd ACA 17 Bottje, Will Gay Diversions (Thurber texts) 7: , Pa, Narr ACA 25 Bottje, Will Gay Serenade 9: , St4 ACA 16 Bottje, Will Gay Concert Music?:EH, Stgs ACA 13 Bottje, Will Gay Ready, Set Var: Any 3 Cls, Bns, Vcs Bowder, Jerry Woodwind Quintet 5: Brandt, William Divertimento, Op : Brandt, William Chamber Concerto, Op.76 7: , Pc, Ampl. 12 Hchd/Pa Brandt, William Incidental Music Lion in Winter, Op.63 7: , Hchd Briccetti, Thomas Trio for Reed Instruments 3: Gaetano Bright, Houston Three Short Dances 5: Brown, Newell Kay Woodwind Quintet 5: Brown, Newell Kay Pastorale & Dance 5:5 Winds Caravan, Ronald Montage I : , Vc Childs, Edwin T. Woodwind Quintet 5: Chopin, F./T. R. George Prelude No : Copper, William Happy, Happy 3: Cowell, Henry Wedding Anniversary Music : , Rec Cowell, Henry Quartet : , Vc, Hp Cowell, Henry Ballad : Cowell, Henry Suite : Cowell, Henry Four Assorted Movements : (BCl) Davison, John Concertino, Op : Davison, John Three Fantasies, Op. 5b : , 2Vn, Vc Davison, John Woodwind Quintet, Op : Davison, John Introduction & Allegro, Op : , ASx
66 64 CHAMBER WIND MUSIC FOR DOUBLE REEDS BY EASTMAN SCHOOL OF MUSIC COMPOSERS COMPOSER TITLE DATE INSTRUMENTATION PUBLISHER LENGTH Davison, John Sextet, Op : , 4Stg, Pa (EH) Davison, John Windows & Murals, Op : , St4, Sop Davison, John Sextet, Op : , Pa de Gastyne, Serge Abacus in Trio 3: , MalPc Diamond, David Partita : , Pa Peer-Southern Diamond, David Quintet : Peer-Southern Diemente, Edward 2 wind quartets 4: Diemer, Emma Lou Trio : , Hchd, Tape Seesaw Diemer, Emma Lou Movement 3: , Org Fischer, Diemer, Emma Lou Movement : , Pa Seesaw 10 Diemer, Emma Lou Music for Woodwind Quartet : Oxford, 8 Diemer, Emma Lou Serenade : , Tape 10 Diemer, Emma Lou Woodwind Quintet # : Boosey 8 Diemer, Emma Lou Sextet : , Pa Seesaw 15 Diercks, Edward Woodwind Quintet 5: Donato, Anthony Quintet : ACA Earls, Paul Alpha/numeric : E Var: Any 3-5 players Ehle, Robert Trio, Op : , SSx, Pa Ehle, Robert Bits & Pieces, Op : Dorn 5 Ehle, Robert North American Rhapsody, Op : Ehle, Robert Quintet, Op : , Pa Elliot, Willard Duets 2: Elliot, Willard Five Impressions 8: Novello 25 Elliot, Willard Les Silhouettes (from Impressions) 3:0001, Kbd, Sop Bruyere Elliot, Willard Poem 5: , St4 Camara/Cor Elliot, Willard Septet 7: Bruyere Elliot, Willard Sextet 6: Elliot, Willard Six Fifteenth Century French Songs 3: , Pa Southern Elliot, Willard Tears, Idle Tears 3:0001, Kbd, Sop Bruyere Elliot, Willard Trio 3: Elliot, Willard Two Creole Songs 3: Southern Elmer, Cedric Caprice : End, Jack Woodwind Quintet 5: Farkas, Peter Nagy Suite 2: Fletcher, H. Grant Trio Bulgarica : Folio, Cynthia Parley 3: , Vc Portfolio 5 Frackenpohl, Arthur Manatee Rag 3: WW Chamber Mus. Press Frackenpohl, Arthur Two Movements 3: WW Chamber Mus. Press Frackenpohl, Arthur Trio 3: Dorn
67 THE DOUBLE REED 65 COMPOSER TITLE DATE INSTRUMENTATION PUBLISHER LENGTH Frackenpohl, Arthur Quartet 4: , ASx Dorn Frackenpohl, Arthur A Christmas Delight 5: Integra Frackenpohl, Arthur A Christmas Jazz Suite 5: Kendor Frackenpohl, Arthur French Suite 5: Shawnee Frackenpohl, Arthur Two Joplin Rags 5: Shawnee Freund, Donald Pas de Duex : Freund, Donald Woodwind Trio :3 WW Freund, Donald Pastoral Symphony : , Pa Frohne, Vincent Duo : , ASx Frohne 2 10 Frohne, Vincent Wind Trio, Op : , ASx 9 Gaburo, Kenneth Antiphony XII 1988/92 2: , tape Gates, Crawford Tone Painting 11: Gates, Everett Odd Meter Duets :2 treble insts Gates, Everett Elegy & Caprice : Gates, Everett Threesome : Gates, Everett Exhibition Suite : Gauldin, Robert Woodwind Quintet : George, Thom Ritter Divertimento No.3, CN : George, Thom Ritter 3 Pieces by T.Trobaugh, CN : (EH, CBn) George, Thom Ritter Quintet No. 2, CN : George, Thom Ritter Quintet No.1, CN : George, Thom Ritter Quintet No.3, CN : George, Thom Ritter Sonatine, CN 184 bis : Gordon, Louis Recollections 3: , Pa 15 Grant, W. Parks Soliloquoy & Jubilation, Op.40 5: Green, George C. Woodwind Quintet 5: Gruber, Albion Woodwind Quintet 5: Guenther, Ralph Variations?: Ob, Stgs Haigh, Morris Epigraphs, Inst l Miniatures 10:10 players 17 Haigh, Morris Terzetti, Five Pieces 3: , Vc (EH) 13 Haigh, Morris Music for Winds 5: Handel, Darrell Rondeaux with oboe : , Sop Spindrift 7 Handel, Darrell Trio : , Pa (EH) 9 Hannay, Roger Pavane : , Gt Hannay, Roger Divertimento : Hannay, Roger Nocturnes : Seesaw Harris, Robert A. Five Bagatelles :3 WW Hart, Weldon Interlude : Hart, Weldon Piece for Three 3: Hart, Weldon Fugue : Hartley, Walter Double Concerto, Op :8 Winds, ASx, Tu Philharmusica 7 30
68 66 CHAMBER WIND MUSIC FOR DOUBLE REEDS BY EASTMAN SCHOOL OF MUSIC COMPOSERS COMPOSER TITLE DATE INSTRUMENTATION PUBLISHER LENGTH Hartley, Walter Trio, Op : , SSx, TSx, Pa/Hchd Dorn Hartley, Walter Quartet, Op : , ASx Dorn 8 15 Hartley, Walter Quartet for Reeds, Op : , ASx Dorn 9 30 Hartley, Walter Woodwind Quartet, Op : Wingert-Jones 6 Hartley, Walter Sonata da Camera, Op : Wingert-Jones 6 30 Hartley, Walter Suite for Five Winds, Op : , ASx Wingert-Jones 7 Hartley, Walter Two Pieces, Op : Wingert-Jones 5 30 Hartley, Walter Chamber Music, Op : , ASx Wingert-Jones 8 Hartley, Walter Serenade, Op : , DB Wingert-Jones Hartley, Walter Sextet, Op : , Eu Tuba Press 9 Hartley, Walter Divertimento, Op : , Vc Wingert-Jones 12 Hartley, Walter Chamber Concerto, Op : 8 WW, BarSx Dorn 9 30 Haugland, A. Oscar Little Suite 5: Heim, Norman Trio Chatauqua, Op : Norcat 11 Heim, Norman Four Miniatures, Op : Norcat 13 Heim, Norman 9 arrangements for 4 WW 4: Kendor, Norcat Heim, Norman Seven Vignettes, Op : Norcat Heuser, David Spork : (CBn) 6 Hodkinson, Sydney Tsatskes 3: Hoffer, Bernard Concerto f. Wind Instruments : , TSx, Pc Hoffer, Bernard Three Diversions :4 WW (doubling) Hoffer, Bernard Elegy for a Friend : , St Hoover, Katherine Sinfonia, Op : Hoover, Katherine Homage to Bartok, Op : Hoover, Katherine Qwindtet, Op.37 (sic) : Hovhaness, Alan Sonata, Op : Hovhaness, Alan Prelude & Fugue, Op : Hovhaness, Alan Sonata, Op : Hovhaness, Alan Suite, Op /67 2: Hovhaness, Alan Suite, Op : (EH) Hovhaness, Alan Sonata, Op /64 3: , Org Hovhaness, Alan Divertimento, Op.61/ : Hovhaness, Alan Quartet No.1, Op : , Vc, Hchd Hovhaness, Alan Quartet No.2, Op : , Vc, Hchd Hovhaness, Alan Divertimento, Op.61/ : Hovhaness, Alan Woodwind Quartet, Op /65 4: Hovhaness, Alan Koko No Kiwa 1954/60 4: , Hp, 2Pc (EH) Hovhaness, Alan Septet, Op :5 winds, DB, Pc Huggler, John Serenata :3 WW, 3 Stg Hughes, E. Kent Second chance 2:
69 THE DOUBLE REED 67 COMPOSER TITLE DATE INSTRUMENTATION PUBLISHER LENGTH Huston, T. Scott Phenomena : , Hchd, DB Huston, T. Scott Four Conversations : Hutchison, Warner Woodwind Quintet : Iannaccone, Anthony Parodies : Isele, David Verdancy, Op.26 3: , Va, Pa Isele, David Prologue & Fuguing 4: Ivey, Jean Eichelberger A Carol of Animals : , MSop, Pa Ivey, Jean Eichelberger Scherzo : Johnson, Hunter For the Unknown Soldier 3: , Pa Johnson, Hunter Trio : , Pa Johnston, Donald O. Concatenation : , Pa Jordahl, Robert Five Whimseys : T.A.P. Music Jordahl, Robert A Little Chamber Music : Fanfare Jordahl, Robert Three Episodes : T.A.P. Music Julstrom, Clifford Derivatives 5: Kay, Ulysses Five Winds : Composer s 12 Facs. Kazze, Louis A Sicilian Summer Day 5: Kazze, Louis Variations on an Imaginary Theme : Keller, Homer Five Pieces 2: Associated 6 15 Keller, Homer Interplay 5: Kelly, Robert Passacaglia & Fugue 5: Kerr, Thomas Arietta for 5 5: Ethnic Music,Howard University Kerr, Thomas Easter Monday Swagger, Scherzino 5: Kerr, Thomas Filets of Soul 5: Ethnic Music,Howard University Kerr, Thomas Pastorale-Elegy 7: Ethnic Music,Howard University Kerr, Thomas Variations Merry Xmas Tune (Good King Wenceslas) 7: Ethnic Music,Howard University Kirk, Theron Frivolities 4: , Vc Koch, Frederick Three Excursions 3: , Va, Pa Barrow Press 15 Koch, Frederick Antagonisms 3: Barrow Press Koch, Frederick Scherzo for Five Winds 5: Boston Music 5 Koch, Frederick Nonet 9: , St4 Barrow Press 20 Koch, Frederick Veltin Fantasy?: ob, stgs Kopp, Frederick Conversations 5: Kopp, Frederick Passacaglia in the Olden Style 5:
70 68 CHAMBER WIND MUSIC FOR DOUBLE REEDS BY EASTMAN SCHOOL OF MUSIC COMPOSERS COMPOSER TITLE DATE INSTRUMENTATION PUBLISHER LENGTH Kopp, Frederick Three Movements 5: Kremenliev, Boris Woodwind Trio 3:3 WW Kremenliev, Boris Quartet 4: , 3stg Kubik, Gail Woodwind Quintet : La Montaine, John Quartet, Op.24a :4 WW Fredonia Press Larrick, Geary Melody for Abraham Lincoln 2: , Pc Larrick, Geary Quartet for Bassoons 4: Latiolais, Jayne Three Movements 4:1011,0000, Pa Lee, William F Woodwind Quintets I : Peer-Southern Lee, William F Woodwind Quintets II : Peer-Southern Lee, William F. Tone Poem 5: , Vn, Va, 2Vc Lewis, Robert Hall A Due III 2: , Hp Doblinger 8 Lewis, Robert Hall Quintet 5: Lewis, Robert Hall Divertimento f. 6 Instruments 6:6 Winds Presser Lewis, Robert Hall Diptychon for Nine Players 9:9 players Presser Lewis, Robert Hall A Due II 2: , Pc (EH) Doblinger 9 Lieberson, Goddard Sonata for Quintet : , Pa, Vn, Vc Locklair, Dan A Suite Upon Spring : Locklair, Dan Pairing Around : Locklair, Dan Through the Winds : , Pa Lowrey, Norman E. Perspectives :6 Woodwind, Pc Luening, Otto Fuguing Tune : Highgate Press Luke, Ray Suite : Mailman, Martin Surfaces : Mais, Chester Woodwind Quintet 5: Marshall, Pamela Nautilus 5: Martirano, Salvatore Sextet :6 Winds 9 McBeth, W. Francis Canticle, Op.37 12:11 Wind, MalPerc Southern McKay, George F Woodwind Quintet : McKay, George F Woodwind Quintet : McKay, George F American Street Scenes : , Sx, Pa McKenney, W. Thomas Dialogue 4:4 WW Meloy, Elizabeth Trio 3: , Vc Molineux, Allen Max s Music : Mols, Robert W. Fantasia in a Gregorian Chant 5: Mols Pubs 2 Mols, Robert W. Spanish Dance 5: Mols Pubs 1 30 Morris, Robert Inter Alia : , Vc Morris, Robert Plexus :4 WW 15 Morris, Robert Two s Company :
71 THE DOUBLE REED 69 COMPOSER TITLE DATE INSTRUMENTATION PUBLISHER LENGTH Morris, Robert 3/4/ Var: Any 3-5 players Moss, Lawrence Toot Sweet : , 2Pc Seesaw Moss, Lawrence 10 Miracles : , Hp, Ten Presser 12 Moss, Lawrence Unseen Leaves : , Sop, Tape, Carl Fischer 10 Slides Moss, Lawrence Conversations : , Vn, Va, Vc Presser Moss, Lawrence Various Birds : McGinnis & Marx 10 Moss, Lawrence Auditions : , tape Carl Fischer Nelson, Bradley Three Songs : , Ten Owen, Blythe Trio : Owen, Blythe Trio 3: , Pa Palmer, Robert Quintet : Palumbo, Paul Metatheses : , DB, Hchd Phillips, Burrill Huntingdon 2s & 3s : , Vc Phillips, Burrill Canzona VI : Phillips, Burrill Five Pieces : Phillips, Burrill Music for This Time of year : Phillips, Burrill Eve Learns a Little :4 Winds, Sop, Pa Phillips, Burrill Quartet 1967?: ob, stgs Pozdro, John Trilogy : , Pa Pozdro, John Quintet : 4 Winds, Pa Pozdro, John Woodwind Quintet : Premru, Raymond Concertino : Musica Rara Premru, Raymond Octet : , St3 Presser, William Seven Bassoon Duets 2: Tenuto Presser, William Five Duets 2: Tenuto Presser, William Five Duets 2: Tenuto Presser, William Seven Duets 2: Tenuto Presser, William Bassoon Trio 3: Tenuto Presser, William Four Grounds 3: Tenuto Presser, William Trio 3: Tenuto Presser, William Trio 3: (EH) Tenuto Presser, William Three Canons of Love 4: , Sop, Pa Tenuto Presser, William Minuet & Sarabande 5: Tenuto Presser, William Woodwind Quintet 5: Tenuto Provenzano, Aldo Woodwind Quintet 5: Pyle, Francis Sonata in the Form of a Duo Concertante : Pyle, Francis J 5 Studies f. Improvised Dance 2: Pyle, Francis J Serenade 3: Pyle, Francis J Currier & Ives :3 WW
72 70 CHAMBER WIND MUSIC FOR DOUBLE REEDS BY EASTMAN SCHOOL OF MUSIC COMPOSERS COMPOSER TITLE DATE INSTRUMENTATION PUBLISHER LENGTH Pyle, Francis J Reprints - Currier & Ives 5: Pyle, Francis J Woodwind Quintet : Read, Gardner Nine By Six, Op : , Tp Henmar/Peters 15 (Pic,EH,BCl) Reed, H. Owen Wondrous Love : , Ten 6 Reed, H. Owen Symphonic Dance 6: , Pa Belwin-Mills 4 Reed, H. Owen A Psalm of Praise : , Sop 3 Reid, John Woodwind Trio 3:3 WW Reid, John Quartet Bassoon & Strings 4: , 3St Reid, John Two woodwind quintets 5: Reid, John Wind Octet 8:8 Winds Reynolds, Verne Fantasy Etudes : , Pc 11 Reynolds, Verne Concertare III : , Pa C. Fischer ca.20 Riepe, Russell Divertimento 4:4 WW Riley, John Divertimento 5: Robertson, Donna Trio 3: , Vn, Hchd Rogers, Bernard Ballade : , Va, Pa Peer-Southern 6 Russell, Armand Dramatic & Lyric Dialogues : , Pa 15 Russell, Armand Escapades 3: , Pa 11 Russell, Armand Dramatic Scene 4: , Vn, Pa 9 30 Russell, Armand Wedding Suite : (BCl) 23 Russell, Armand Music for Woodwinds : Russell, Armand Variations & Caprice : Russell, Armand Suite Concertante 6: Sacco, P. Peter 10 Psalms, Op : , 2Vc, Pa, 30 Vce Sacco, P. Peter Lyric Thoughts : Sacco, P. Peter Introduction & Divertimento : , StOrch Sacco, P. Peter Introduction & Divertimento : , St4 Sacco, P. Peter Requiem, Op : Samuel, Gerhard Dirge for John Cage : , Pc MMB Music 6 Samuel, Gerhard Two Moods 5: , St Samuel, Gerhard After a Dirge : , 3Pc MMB Music 6 Sandresky, Margaret Seven Japanese Drawings : Schramm, Betsy Luminous duo : , Pc 9 Schramm, Betsy Wings of the Wind : , Pa 13 Sherman, Robert Dichrome II : Sherman, Robert Quintet : , Vc Sherman, Robert Quintet : Sherman, Robert Quintet : Sherman, Robert Quintet 1963/96 5:
73 THE DOUBLE REED 71 COMPOSER TITLE DATE INSTRUMENTATION PUBLISHER LENGTH Sherman, Robert The Summer of : , DB, Hp Sherman, Robert Septet : , St4 Silliman, A. Cutler Woodwind Quintet : Slonimsky, Nicholas Little Suite :3 WW, Pc, Typewriter Snyder, Theodore Quartet 5: , Pa Soule, Edmund Of All things : Soule, Edmund F Five Duets : Soule, Edmund F Double Reed Trios : (EH) Soule, Edmund F Double Reed Trios : Stern, Robert Déploration 4: , DB, Pc 5 Stewart, Frank G. Recitative & Allegro : Sutcliffe, James H. Scenes : Thome, Diane Stepping Inward c : , Va, Hp, 7 Mand, Gt. Truesdell, F. Donald Woodwind Quintet 5: Ulrich, Eugene Woodwind Quintet 5: Van Appledorn, Mary J. Reeds Afire, Three Duos : Van Appledorn, Mary J. Galilean Galaxies 3: , Pa Van de Vate, Nancy Trio : , Pc, Pa Vienna Master 14 Van de Vate, Nancy Woodwind Quartet : Southern 8 Vardell, Charles, Jr. Diptych 3: , Pa Walker, George Antifonys 9: , 2St General Music Ward, Robert Energetically : , Pa 2 Ward, Robert Raleigh Divertimento 5: Highgate 12 Ward, William R. Suite : Warren, William A. Woodwind Quintet 5: Washburn, Robert Concertino 10: Oxford Washburn, Robert French Suite 3: Washburn, Robert Three Pieces 3: Oxford Washburn, Robert Quintet 5: Oxford Washburn, Robert Suite 5: Presser Wasson, Steve Two Songs, Op /67 6: , Pa, Ten 3 Weed, Maurice Variations on a Jolly Tune 1943/74 5: Weisgarber, Elliot Fuyu Hi No Tabi (Winter Day & Journey) : , Va, Hp (EH) CMC Weisgarber, Elliot Divertimento : , Vn CMC Weisgarber, Elliot Impromptu for Five : , Vn, Va, Vc CMC Weisgarber, Elliot Woodwind Quintet : CMC Weiss, Adolph Petite Suite : Weiss, Adolph Quintet : Weiss, Adolph Sextet : , Pa Welcher, Dan Firewing : , Pc 10
74 72 CHAMBER WIND MUSIC FOR DOUBLE REEDS BY EASTMAN SCHOOL OF MUSIC COMPOSERS COMPOSER TITLE DATE INSTRUMENTATION PUBLISHER LENGTH Welcher, Dan Woodwind Quintet #1 1967/72 5: Presser 12 Welcher, Dan Woodwind Quintet # : Whitcomb, Robert Fantasy Trio : , Va, Pa 10 Whitcomb, Robert B Serenade 3: Whitcomb, Robert B Tonal Commentaries : , Pa 12 Whitcomb, Robert B Reflections on an Anniversary : , St3 5 White, Donald H. Three for Five : Shawnee 8 White, John David Music for Three : , Pa White, John David Ars Poetica : , Vn, Pa, Vce Whittenberg, Charles Iambi : Whittenberg, Charles Fantasy : Whittenberg, Charles Games of Five : Wienhorst, Richard Two Mean Old Tubas (Bassoons) : ACA 0 50 Wienhorst, Richard Intrada : , Pc (Tgls) ACA 0 45 Wienhorst, Richard Intrada : ACA 1 10 Wilder, Alec 12 dectets : , Gt, Dr, DB Ludlow, Margun Wilder, Alec Seven Duets : Margun 6 Wilder, Alec Three Pieces 2: Wilder, Alec Twelve Duets : Margun 9 Wilder, Alec Piece : , Improv.Pc Margun 6 Wilder, Alec Duet : , Pc (EH) 5 Wilder, Alec Suite : Margun 7 Wilder, Alec Suite No : , Pa Margun 15 Wilder, Alec Suite No : , Pa Margun 14 Wilder, Alec Suite : , Hp Margun 8 Wilder, Alec Moosacaglia : Margun 6 Wilder, Alec Suite : Margun 15 Wilder, Alec Suite : Margun 13 Wilder, Alec Trio : Margun 13 Wilder, Alec Suite : Margun 16 Wilder, Alec Two Pieces : (2EH) 6 Wilder, Alec Suite : , DB, Hchd Margun 12 Wilder, Alec Movement, Invention & Round 4: , Va, Vc Margun Wilder, Alec Andante 4: , Vn, Vc Margun 4 Wilder, Alec 13 woodwind quintets : Ludwig, 6-17 Margun, Kendor Wilder, Alec Children s Suite 5: Margun 12 Wilder, Alec Sixteen Short Pieces 5: Margun 10 Wilder, Alec Small Suite : Wilder, Alec Solo Suite : each
75 THE DOUBLE REED 73 COMPOSER TITLE DATE INSTRUMENTATION PUBLISHER LENGTH Wilder, Alec The World s Most Beautiful Girls 5: Margun Wilder, Alec Twelfth Night Songs : , MSop Margun 9 Wilder, Alec Sextet : , Mar Ms 19 Wilder, Alec Fall of the House of Usher Suite : , Pc Margun 9 Wilder, Alec Suite : , BarSx Margun 20 Wilder, Alec Suite :6 WW, BarSx, DB, Dr Margun 16 Wilder, Alec 27 octets Various 8: , Hchd, Dr, DB Wiley, Ruth Shaw Five Occurrences : Williams, David Russell Sonatina : , Hp Williams, David Russell Suite : , Hchd Woltmann, Frederick Scherzo :8 Winds Wood, William F Trios for Woodwinds :3 WW Wykes, Robert Suite :3 WW, Sop York, Walter W. NeoGothics 5: Ludlow, Margun & Warner Bros CONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE
76 74 CHAMBER WIND MUSIC FOR DOUBLE REEDS BY EASTMAN SCHOOL OF MUSIC COMPOSERS INSTRUMENTATION ABBREVIATIONS Abbreviation Meaning Abbreviation Meaning? Unknown number of players Op Opus 3St 3 Strings Orch Orchestra ACA American Composers Alliance Pa Piano Alto Alto Voice Pc Percussion Ampl Amplified Pic Piccolo ASx Alto Saxophone Pubs Publications BarSx Baritone Saxophone Rec(s) Recorder(s) BCl Bass Clarinet SmOrg Small Organ BHn Basset Horn Sop Soprano Voice Bn(s) Bassoon(s) SSx Soprano Saxophone CBn Contrabassoon St3 String Trio Cl(s) Clarinets St4 String Quartet CMC Canadian Music Center Stg Strings DB Double Bass StOrch String Orchestra Dr Drum Set Sx Saxophone Ed. Edition Tb Trombone EH English Horn Ten Tenor Voice Eu Euphonium Tgl(s) Triangle(s) f. for Gt Guitar Hchd Harpsichord Hp Harp Insts Instruments Mand Mandolin Tp TSx Tu Va Var Vbph Trumpet Tenor Saxophone Tuba Viola Variable Instruments Vibraphone Mar Marimba Vc(s) Violoncello(s) MalPc Mallet Percussion Vce Voice MSop Mezzo Soprano Vn Violin Narr Narrator WTC Well Tempered Clavier Ob(s) Oboe(s) WW Woodwind
77 Desafio XII: A Work by Marlos Nobre for Bassoon Janet Grice Ardsley, New York Desafio XII, Op. 31, for bassoon and piano by Marlos Nobre is a good example of the exciting but little known repertoire of bassoon music from Brazil. 1 Only 5 ½ minutes long, it is a technically challenging work for an advanced player, and short but flashy enough to program at the end of a recital. The almost constant playing by the bassoonist demands endurance, and a good high note reed or bocal is recommended. This article provides some background on Nobre and Desafio XII, hopefully providing insight into the interpretation and appreciation of this work. Marlos Nobre (b. 1939) is a graduate of the Pernambuco Conservatory in Brazil, and studied with Alberto Ginastera in Buenos Aires from He is the winner of numerous international awards from the Rockefeller Foundation; Broadcasting Music Inc., New York; UNESCO, Paris; and the TRIMALCA/UNESCO Prize, Colombia, among others. Nobre s compositional style displays strong Brazilian roots, but his approach draws upon contemporary techniques. He sees himself as an inventor of music motivated by the desire to create his own language, a synthesis of auditory and intellectual experiences. 2 Adamantly anti-nationalistic, Nobre s work is a reflection of his background and childhood in Brazil s northeast, where he was surrounded by folk music traditions. His incorporation of these elements is a natural tendency to use the language he is familiar with, without attempting to portray a Brazilian identity. This differentiates him from composers of the previous generation, such as Villa-Lobos, Mignone and Fernândez, who were considered nationalist because they deliberately employed Brazilian folk and popular music themes and styles in their compositions. Whereas most of Nobre s early works were strongly influenced by the rhythmic improvisational style of the folk music of northeastern Brazil, later he incorporated modified serialism and aleatoric procedures. The Desafios were composed in the 1980 s, a period in which his works displayed neoclassical tendencies, such as an emphasis on balanced form and traditional writing for the instruments. Like the composers Bartók and Lutoslawski, many of his works juxtapose diatonic folk material with dissonant harmonies, polyrhythmic structures, rhythmic drive, and non-traditional scales. Contemporary techniques used by Nobre include extensive dynamic ranges and explorations into the extreme registers of the instruments, textural effects such as tone clusters on the piano, highly accented articulated passages with repeated notes, and an emphasis on rhythmic vitality. 3 According to Nobre 4, Desafio XII for bassoon and piano, composed in 1986, is part of a long series of Desafios that I wrote for practically all the instruments of the orchestra, beginning with the strings (viola, violin, cello and bass, THE DOUBLE REED 75 numbers I, II, III and IV), following with woodwinds and brass. The idea of Desafio 5 originated in my childhood, in hearing the singing of the nordestinos, people from Brazil s northeastern region, common in Pernambuco where I was born. The singers, or challengers [desafiantes] are popular musicians and poets, who, while playing a type of folk guitar, the viola nordestina 6, improvise verses within the meter of the rhyme of the first challenger. The singer who can no longer outdo the opponent with more complex verses loses the challenge. Part of the caboclo (folk/mestizo) tradition of Brazil s northeast, the Desafio is believed to stem from the dueling song of the Lisbon fado of Portugal, in particular a variety of fado where two singers take turns performing verses. In Portugal the fado desgarrado refers to dueling voices, the part at the end of a fado performance when several singers join together. A desgarrada is an improvised type of popular song, like the desafio; the term also refers to something licentious or lewd. The desafio is similar to the challenge singing of the Azores, in which singers engage in a debate of an ironic and critical nature. Going back in history, its origins can be traced to the Provencal Tenso, a twelfthcentury verse dispute between two troubadours, or an erotic debate poem between a man and woman. In Brazilian challenge singing, the singers are called improvisers who take turns vying with each other in word play and tongue twisters. They typically sing in a high, nasal vocal tone, a style that can be traced to the Arabic presence in Portugal. 7 The declamatory refrain in a Desafio is mostly improvised, characterized by a syncopated melodic line with many repeated tones in an unusually fast tempo. Nobre explained that the work extends from the idea of two instruments challenging one another musically. In this case, the bassoon begins with a cadenza posing as a challenge to the opponent, the piano. This cadenza captures the
78 76 DESAFIO XII: A WORK BY MARLOS NOBRE FOR BASSOON improvisatory nature of the folk Desafio through the use of rubato and sudden tempo changes, in which the melodic ideas seemingly emerge spontaneously. When the cadenza reaches the final stopping point, the piano abruptly enters, answering the challenge and initiating the dialogue that characterizes the second section. At each musical interruption by the other, the piano or bassoon responds idiomatically, in phrases of virtuosity and expressive lyricism. When the piano joins in, the musical texture alternates between argumentative interjections and expressive cantabile sections. The thematic material is developed in a series of variations, much like the traditional Desafio, that become more and more elaborate until a winner emerges. Since there are to be no losers in this Desafio, the work closes in a congenial dialogue between the two instruments. Individually the parts are challenging, exploiting extreme registers of the piano and bassoon. 8 The bassoon s notes rise to D5 and E5 in several places, perhaps in imitation of the high, nasal quality used in singing a traditional Desafio. The work closes with driving rhythmic phrases that build to a frenzied climax with the bassoon in the high register, playing a B4, as if trying to outdo the piano one last time before descending to the final low E2. The overall form of Desafio XII consists of a rubato introduction, I. Cadenza, followed without pause by the rhythmic II. Desafio, which is divided into sections differentiated by changes of tempo and alternations of simple and compound meters. The melodies in the Cadenza consist of 8th and 16th note passages, with prevalence of a fanfare-like motif of a 32nd note pickup followed by a dotted 16th or note of longer value. Constant changes of dynamics and expression are indicated with terms such as vibrante, calmo, furioso and agitado. II. Desafio, where the piano enters, begins in 12/8. Marked vivo, it is characterized by staccato, accented eighth note passages. Intense contrasts and rapid changes of mood necessitate a switch of dynamics and articulations in short time spans. The conversational aspect of this section sets up a framework for the interplay between the two instruments, which take turns speaking while one listens. For instance, at m. 60, Calmo, the bassoon plays a low, sustained, slow melody while the piano plays a syncopated eighth note passage above. In the Lento (ad lib) - Recitativo section at measure 70, the bassoon continues recitativo style over a sustained drone-like chord in the piano. Ex. 1: Calmo, m. 60 Ex. 2: Lento (ad lib) - Recitativo, m. 70
79 In the Meno Mosso - Vibrante sections, at mm. 16 and 26, triplets in the bassoon are juxtaposed over sustained chords in the piano for half the measure; the bassoon finishes the measure by holding a note over the piano s triplet figure that leads to the downbeat of the next measure. THE DOUBLE REED 77 Ex. 3: Meno Mosso - Vibrante, m. 16 Common in Luso-Brazilian folk melodies, particularly in the northeast, is the presence of repeated notes in fast tempos on one pitch or in a descending melodic line, evoking a declamatory vocal style. Nobre wrote repeated tones for the bassoon in several places; by doubling pitches at the sixteenthnote level in the first accelerando of the cadenza, and in the a tempo in II. Desafio at m. 25. (Ex. 4) Two sets of triplets on the same pitch occur at m. 30. (Ex. 5) First accelerando of the cadenza Ex. 4: II. Desafio, m. 25 Ex. 5 : II. Desafio, mm. 32 to 34.
80 78 DESAFIO XII: A WORK BY MARLOS NOBRE FOR BASSOON Nobre stated that his work was written in free tonal and modal counterpoint, one of the characteristics of music from Brazil s northeast. Continuous melodic and rhythmic counterpoint between the bassoon and piano is apparent in both highly dense and sparse, sustained sections. Modal counterpoint, in which melodies vacillate between major, minor, Dorian and Lydian modes in short time spans, and a prevalence of pentatonic scales, is apparent. Harmonic ambiguity is implied by chords containing a semitone, as in the first measure of II. Desafio; while the bassoon plays a low D2, the piano plays Ef and D in different octaves. Other chords of this type occur at Lento (ad lib) Recitativo in m. 70, with B in the bass and a Bf above, and in m. 95 with octave Ds in the right hand over octave Dfs in the bass. Ex. 6: II. Desafio, m. 1 Melodic motion by an interval of a perfect fourth is common throughout the work. The opening theme of the Cadenza, Calmo e Rubato (Calm and rubato), marked espressivo, begins on D and rises to G, the tonic pitch of the phrase. Subsequent phrases repeat the motif of an ascent by a fourth at different pitch levels; the phrase is completed by a minor third ascent, then a descent of a minor second, culminating with a descent of a minor third and a return to the tonic by an ascent of a major second. Ex. 7: Calmo e Rubato (Cadenza) A section called Piu Mosso-Con fuoco follows, in which a pentatonic passage by the bassoon begins on low C and rises in pitch and volume until it reaches D5. In the next part, Tempo I-Vibrante, the primary motif is played a fourth higher beginning on G, and the phrase ends on high C. The Piu Mosso returns with a pentatonic passage beginning on B, a step lower than the previous Piu Mosso, and reaches a climax on E5. An extremely high note for the bassoon, it is marked forte, and has the effect of a screech. Following this is a section called Vivo-Furioso that centers on the pitches G and D, leading to the last section, Meno Mosso ed accel., where the melody is based on a series of large ascending leaps from low C, finally lingering on the pitch A. This acts as a cadence to the next section, II. Desafio, where the piano enters with accented chords built on the tones of Ef and D. (see Ex. 6) Tonally the II. Desafio section begins on E, characteristically rises
81 THE DOUBLE REED 79 a fourth to A, then settles on B. The slow, legato Meno Mosso- Vibrante at m. 16 is centered on the pitch B, as is the Poco Piu Mosso at m. 21. The Meno Mosso-Vibrante at m. 26 acts as a transition to Tempo I at m. 30, a developmental section. While the piano plays thematic material the bassoon s staccato triplets on repeated pitches have a percussive effect. The bass notes of the piano are accented and sustained, outlining a series of tonalities that begin on A and move mainly by intervals of fourths and fifths. At the return of Meno Mosso-Vibrante in m. 49 the tonality rises to Cs in anticipation of the next section, Calmo, at m. 60, and the time signature changes to 4/4. Calmo is twice as slow; the piano plays a hypnotic quarter note ostinato on low Cs as the bassoon slowly descends an octave to Cs2. The Lento (ad lib.)- Recitativo at m. 69 is similar to the opening Cadenza theme, but a half step higher on Gs. The piano bass notes descend chromatically from B to F, returning to Tempo I at m. 79, in 12/8 meter. The tonal scheme of Tempo I features melodies from the Phrygian and Lydian modes; the piano part begins on D and moves mainly by fifths and tritone, settling on E in the next section, Meno Mosso. The staccato triplets in the bassoon rise to a sustained B4 that is held into the Meno Mosso at m. 93, followed by melodic leaps back and forth between high B and D. The finale, Vivo at m. 99, is in 6/8, but the triplets in the piano are accented every fourth beat, creating a hemiola effect. In my experience the timing of this section requires intensive rehearsal. The sustained high B in the bassoon builds in volume, rises to a Ds and finally to E5, marked sfff, on the downbeat of the last measure. On the last beat the bassoon descends three octaves to a low E2, closing the work with a sense of exhausted exhilaration. Ex. 8: Vivo, m. 101 to finale. CONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE
82 80 DESAFIO XII: A WORK BY MARLOS NOBRE FOR BASSOON INTERVIEW WITH MARLOS NOBRE By Feb. 20, 2004 (translated from Portuguese by Janet Grice) After playing Desafio at Rutgers University in the fall of 2003, I sent the recording of my recital to Nobre and posed the following questions. Janet Grice (JG): When was the world premiere? Marlo Nobre (MN): August 29, JG: Where did it take place? MN: Sala Martins Penna, Teatro Nacional de BrasÌlia, D.F, Brazil. JG: Who played the piece? MN: Andrers Engström, fagote and Paulo Affonso, piano. (The work was dedicated to Noel Devos, but he did not perform it.) JG: Was it recorded and documented by the press? MN: No, it wasn t recorded or reviewed. JG: In terms of my performance, how did you like the tempos? You did not use metronome markings in the cadenza section. MN: In general, your tempos were good. One point: directly after the final bassoon cadenza the piano enters attacca immediately. JG: Was there sufficient contrast between the sections? MN: For example, in bar 16, p.5, Meno mosso, the bassoon should be played in a cantabile style, not staccato, and yes, legato. In bar 20 begin to accelerate from the first accented note until arriving at the Poco piu mosso. In bars 21/22/23/24 when the piano and bassoon play together a tempo, there should not be a delay between the first note of the piano and the following eighth notes in the bassoon (at the 3rd and 4th a tempo), ok? In the a tempo sections the two instruments are in dialogue with each other, true to the character of the desafio. In bar 26 the Meno Mosso returns, this time with more freedom in the cantabile, legato bassoon part. In bars 30 to 48 the tempo should be strictly maintained, with the bassoon continuing to accent the notes indicated, returning to meno mosso cantabile at bar 49. The bassoon melody in bars 60 to 66 should be calm yet expressive, under which the piano s low Css repeat quarter-notes that pulse like a heart beat. The second section returns abruptly at bar 79, virtuosic yet strictly in tempo, leading to the Meno Mosso/vibrante in bar 93, played like the previous meno messo with the bassoon singing and the piano notes well-articulated. The Vivo at bar 99 should be played as fast as possible, but precisely, leading to the final abrupt, violent notes. JG: In terms of articulations, should the notes without indications be played differently than those marked staccato? I played all of the notes with a dry, well-articulated attack. MN: Yes, they should be played differently. A type of articulation that is more pesante and quasi legato should be used in the sections where the notes are not marked staccato. You shouldn t play it all with a dry, accented articulation; in other places search for an articulation that is more like that of stringed instruments, not legato yet not staccato, an intermediary of the two. When I place a tie between different notes, play them slurred. JG: Do you think the pianist and I were successful in challenging each other musically? MN: The idea of two instruments challenging one another was wellrealized by you two, but as I said before, it is necessary to create tension by not leaving empty space between the entrance of the bassoon and the piano. There should be an immediate, sudden response, do you understand? To achieve this it is necessary to rehearse this part a little more slowly, almost mechanically, then adhere strictly to the tempos indicated, playing freely only in the lyrical passages and those marked meno mosso. JG: What are your other chamber works that include the bassoon? MN: I have the Woodwind Quintet, that was recorded on an excellent CD by the Quinteto da Ciudad do México, and unfortunately, only this for now. JG: Do you agree with this description of you (from Music of Brazil, by Appleby)? Nobre, like others of his time, sought to create works of strong native roots, but with a universal message, resulting in
83 THE DOUBLE REED 81 a national art that is not nationalist in the traditional sense. Though a national identity is evident in all his works, he cannot be seen as nationalistic as he does not rely on patterns from folk and popular idioms in his music. MN: In general I agree with Appleby. Above all I DETEST MUSICAL NATIONALISM, as I do any type of nationalism. I never wanted to be nationalistic and never used any type of folkloric themes in my works. However, in my childhood in Recife where I was born, I lived on a street called Rua de São João, where Carnaval took place. There the parades of marching bands (frevos), Indian fife and drum groups (caboclinhos), and Afro-Brazilian processional dances (maracatus), passed by each year. As a four year old child I not only heard these sounds, but danced in the streets during the festivities. This sonic impression was stamped on my musical subconscious, exerting a strong influence on my work. I did not need to research folklore or study folkloric sources, as I did with Bartók for example, because I had inside, in my mind, an unforgettable impression of the ceremonies and popular dances of Recife. This impression created an IDENTITY with my deep roots in northeastern Brazil, but I didn t go back to my roots to create Brazilian music. I never wanted to make Brazilian music, I always wanted to make MUSIC. Naturally my music is a result of the auditory experiences of my childhood to the present, mixing everything from my early experiences with today s music world - including polytonal techniques, 12-tone, and serial - without adhering to an orthodox system. ABOUT THE AUTHOR Janet Grice has degrees from the New England Conservatory of Music (BM), New York University (MM, jazz composition) and Rutgers University (DMA, bassoon). Her teachers included Stephen Maxym, Noel Devos, David Green and Brian Kershner. She was a recipient of a Fulbright Fellowship in Brazil and grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and Arts International. She has performed internationally with her groups and those of Karl Berger, Butch Morris and the STX Ensemble - playing the music of Xenakis in Portugal and France - and recorded for Music Minus One, Optimism, and numerous jazz CDs. Her three CDs feature the bassoon playing original and Brazilian jazz. Performances at IDRS conferences include Buenos Aires and the universities of Florida State and Northwestern. Janet teaches bassoon and is a teaching artist for the Lincoln Center Institute and other arts organizations, and has led workshops for the 92nd St. Y, the NYC Board of Education and Carnegie Hall. She plays in the Chappaqua Orchestra and free-lance groups in New York, and leads her jazz quartet and Trio Vento in concerts of Brazilian jazz and chamber music. SOURCES CONSULTED Andrade, Mario de. Ensaio Sobre a Música Brasiliera. São Paulo: Livraria Martins Editora, From Vol. VI in the Complete Works of Mario de Andrade, Appleby, David P. The Music of Brazil. Austin: University of Texas Press, Barancoski, Ingrid. The Interaction of Brazilian Identity and Contemporary Musical Language: The Stylistic Development in Selected Piano Works by Marlos Nobre. DMA dissertation,university of Arizona, ( umi.com/dissertations/preview, 23 pp.) Béhague, Gerard. Heitor Villa- Lobos: The Search for Brazil s Musical Soul. University of Texas at Austin: Institute of Latin American Studies, Music in Latin America: an Introduction. New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, Sonidos de las Americas: Brasil. Program introduction and notes. American Composers Orchestra, Chase, Gilbert. A Guide to The Music of Latin America. Second edition. New York: AMS Press, Fryer, Peter. Rhythms of Resistance: African Musical Heritage in Brazil. Hanover, NH: Wesleyan University Press, Grovemusic.com. Oxford University Press Nobre, Marlos, Brazil: Art Music. Marlosnobre.com, website, Nettl, Bruno and Gerard Béhague. Folk and Traditional Music of the Western Continents, New Jersey: Prentice- Hall, Novo Dicionário Da Língua Portuguesa. First edition, edited by Aurélio Buarque de Holanda Ferreira. Rio de Janeiro: Editora Nova Fronteira, 1975.
84 82 DESAFIO XII: A WORK BY MARLOS NOBRE FOR BASSOON Latin American Masterworks. Desafio for cello and piano. Notes by Michael Jameson. ASV Quicksilva QS 6224, 1999, CD. Nobre, Marlos. Desafio XII para Fagote e Piano, Op. 31/12 bis. Rio de Janeiro: Editora M sica Novo do Brazil, address: Rua Presidente Carlos de Campos n. 115 BL.02/902, Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brasil ENDNOTES 1 Nobre, Marlos. Desafio XII para Fagote e Piano, Op. 31/12 bis. Rio de Janeiro: Editora Música Novo do Brazil, address: Rua Presidente Carlos de Campos n. 115 BL.02/902, Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brasil Marlosnobre.com, website, Appleby, David P. The Music of Brazil. Austin: University of Texas Press, from Marlos Nobre, July Sobre o Desafio XII: A obra faz parte de uma série longa de Desafios que escrevi para praticamente todos os instrumentos da orquestra, começando com as Cordas (viola, violino, cello e contrabaixo, números I, II, III e IV) e seguindo pelas madeiras e metais. A idéia do Desafio originou-se na minha vivência, na minha infância, com os cantadores nordestinos sobretudo em Pernambuco onde nasci. Os cantadores ou desafiantes são músicos e poetas populares, que com um tipo de guitarra popular (a viola nordestina ) improvisam versos com rimas cada vez mais complicadas. Cabe ao seu oponente responder, de improviso, dentro da métrica e da rima do primeiro desafiante. Aquele que não consegue mais responder á altura perde o desafio. Portanto a idéia de dois instrumentos se desafiarem musicalmente é o ponto de partida da obra. No caso, o fagote inicia com uma Cadenza à guisa de desafio ao oponente, dando lugar à entrada abrupta do piano iniciandose então o desafio propriamente dito. Escrita em contraponto contínuo, entre os dois instrumentos, há naturalmente uma tendência na obra ao virtuosismo moderado, mas igualmente ao lirismo. A cada intervenção e idéia musical do outro, cada instrumento responde com sua propria fala instrumental. No final, não havendo perdedores a obra termina em clima eloquente com os dois instrumentos. A forma da peça, derivada da idéia, não é tradicional, mas de certa maneria expõe um material em constante evolução e variação amplificada. Naturalmente a obra não usa qualquer sistema serial, sendo escrita em contraponto livremente tonal e modal, uma das características da música do Nordeste do Brasil. 5 Rhythms of Resistance: African Musical Heritage in Brazil, Fryer, 4: The Desafio is a highly stylized type of challenge singing with no fewer than ten clearly defined types in Brazil. It was often accompanied with the pandeiro (tambourine) with rhythmic parts prominent in the intervals between verses, but rudimentary during the singing, in the sense that the rhythm is barely, if at all, sketched in. 6 Fryer: The viola nordestina is a guitar with five, six or seven pairs of strings, and may derive from the Iberian vihuela. 7 Fryer. 8 C4-B4 designates the octave from middle C-B, C5-B5 the next higher octave, C3-B3 the octave below middle C, etc.
85 Music for Two Oboes and English Horn THE DOUBLE REED 83 Eric van der Geer, Bergen op Zoom, the Netherlands INTRODUCTION. The music for trios of two oboes and English horn is not very well known. The most famous trios are Beethoven s opus 87 and La ci darem la mano, theme and variations. These are as far as known the only compositions by Beethoven for English horn. When we started our oboe trio in 1994, we were very enthusiastic to know all the music for this kind of trio. At the moment that we started, we had heard that there were only up to 20 compositions for oboe trio. So it seemed to be a piece of cake to find all the literature for oboe trio. Since 1996 several searches have been done by internet using Yahoo, Alta Vista and Google with the key words trios for two oboes and English horn. In 2000 we have visited the archives of the Prince of Schwarzenberger in Cesky Krumlov, in Czech. RESULTS In table 1 you see the results. The compositions have been ordered in five periods: I. Before 1775 II. Between 1775 and 1840 III. Between 1840 and 1910 IV. After 1910 V. Unknown year of birth of the composer. For every period the distinction has been made for original compositions and arrangements for oboe trio. We have mentioned the name of one editor behind almost all compositions. Several compositions have been edited by different editors. The name of the editor gives the possibility to the reader to obtain the composition. There are compositions that have not been edited at all; they are in manuscript or in handwritten copies. SOME REMARKS In the period before 1775 there are not any original compositions for oboe trio. We have found 17 arrangements for oboe trio. We have not searched this period exhaustively; it is possible that there are more arrangements than we have found. We are quite sure that there are not any original compositions for oboe trio in the period before The trios of Telemann and Roman have been played by the Triebert trio at the IDRS conference in Therefore, these trios have been included in this list, but are considered as manuscripts. The period between 1775 and 1840 is rich in oboe trios. Wenth, father and son Triebensee formed an oboe trio. Wenth played the English horn. It seems that Beethoven had listened this trio playing Wenth s Serenade concertante. The concert by this trio had inspired Beethoven to write his trio opus 87. The Archivu Trebon in Cesky Krumlov has 21 oboe trios. There were six numbers in the catalogue (See table 2). Three of them contain six trios each. Eleven trios have been edited by Kneusslin, Basel. At the court of Vienna there was a rich culture of music in general and especially of wind music. Vogt was the only composer in that period who was not in the Vienna area. In the period between 1840 and 1910 the compositions are rare for oboe trio. We have found only one composition and one arrangement, possibly from that period. The first composition for oboe trio after 1910 is by Sem Dresden. Almost one hundred compositions have been written in the last century. The composer who is the most productive with 14 trios, is Graham Powning. There is a great choice of fine music; from good music playable for amateurs to difficult music for excellent professionals. For any remarks about this survey, for other titles not found below or further information about the compositions, please contact the author, ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS: To Simon Koeten, my first teacher, for his enthusiastic education. I m grateful to him, that he has shown me the trios of Beethoven, Gordon Jacob and Ronald Kok. To Pieter Boor, Dineke Visser and Ton de Lange. It was and is a great pleasure to play oboe together with them. To the Archivu Trebon (archive of the Prinz von Schwarzenberger) in Cesky Krumlov, Czech, for their helpful hospitality. To Mariana Berta for her comments on the list.
86 84 MUSIC FOR TWO OBOES AND ENGLISH HORN TABLE 1. COMPOSITIONS FOR TWO OBOES AND ENGLISH HORN I. Compositions before 1775 I.1: Original compositions: None I.2: Arrangements for two oboes and English horn: Composer Dates Title Publisher 1 Finger Gottfried/Wyver ( ) Suite no. 1 in C Hill 2 Pez/Wyver ( ) Suite in C Hill 3 Vivaldi/Hawkins ( ) Trio in C - 2OB/EH BMC 4 Vivaldi ( ) Trio in F - 2OB/EH BMC 5 Vivaldi ( ) Trio in D - 2OB/EH BMC 6 Vivaldi ( ) Trio in g - 2OB/EH BMC 7 Telemann, G.P. ( ) Trio manuscript 8 Bach, JS ( ) Air Herr Jesu Christ, Wachet auf Egge 9 Bach, JS ( ) 7 trios for 2 oboes and EH BMC 10 Bach, JS ( ) 3 Three part Inventions Jack Spratt Music Co. 11 Bach, JS ( ) Gavotte uit Kantate 202 Hochzeit manuscript 12 Handel, George F ( ) Royal Fireworks Music-2OB/EH BMC 13 Boismortier, J.B. ( ) Sonata, op 7 No.1 Hill 14 Roman JH ( ) Trio manuscript 15 Quantz, J.J. ( ) Sonate C-dur Egge 16 Pergolesi / Oelrich, Jean ( ) Suite - 2OB/EH Fish Creek Music 17 Musica Instrumentalis Tricinien des 17. Jahrhunderts II. Compositions between 1775 and 1840 II.1: Original compositions: Composer Dates Title Publisher 1 Wenth, Johann ( ) Divertimento in B-Dur Kn 2 Wenth, Johann ( ) Serenade concertante Kn 3 Wenth, Johann ( ) Variations sur un thème de Paisiello Kn 4 Wenth, Johann ( ) Variations sur un thème de Haydn Kn 5 Wenth, Johann ( ) Trio concerté manuscript 6 Wenth, Johann ( ) Trio in C-dur manuscript 7 Wenth, Johann ( ) Trio in B-dur manuscript 8 Wenth, Johann ( ) Divertimento in F manuscript 9 Wenth, Johann ( ) Trio in C manuscript 10 Wenth, Johann ( ) Trio in B manuscript 11 Wenth, Johann ( ) Divertimento in C manuscript 12 Wenth, Johann ( ) Divertimento in Bf Kn 13 Wenth, Johann ( ) Pas de deux in C del Signore è Signora Vigano manuscript 14 Krommer, FV ( ) Trio in F. Kn 15 Krommer, FV ( ) Variations en Fa sur un thème Kn 16 Wranitzky, Anton ( ) Trio C-Dur Kn 17 Poessinger, Franz Alexander ( ) Trio F-Dur Kn
87 THE DOUBLE REED 85 Composer Dates Title Publisher 18 Beethoven, L van ( ) Trio opus 87 (1794) Southern Music Company 19 Beethoven, L van ( ) Thema: La ci darem la mano + variaties Breitkopf & Härtel 20 Triebensee, Joseph ( ) Trio B-Dur Kn 21 Triebensee, Joseph ( ) Trio F-Dur Kn 22 Triebensee, Joseph ( ) Trio in C Kn 23 Triebensee, Joseph ( ) Variations Haydn (sy 94) Kn 24 Vogt, G ( ) Adagio religioso Billaudot 25 Vogt, G ( ) 3 langsame Sätze fur 2 ob + EH Broekmans & Van Poppel 26 Dutilie Pas de deux del Signore Wulgani è Signora Muzarelli manuscript II.2: Arrangements for two oboes and English horn: Composer Dates Title Publisher 1 Haydn, Joseph ( ) Classical suite; 2 ob EH 2 Haydn, Joseph ( ) MUSICAL CLOCK SUITE - 2OB/EH 3 Haydn, Joseph ( ) LONDON TRIO #3-2OB/EH 4 Haydn, Joseph ( ) SUITE C - 2OB/EH BMC 5 Gossec Francois Joseph ( ) Tambourin 6 Mozart WA ( ) Trio 7 Mozart, WA ( ) Serenade nr 6 in B-dur III. Compositions between 1840 and 1910 III.1: Original compositions: Composer Dates Title Publisher 1 Chosez Franz Trio op. 38 (ca. 1900) Compusic III.2: Arrangements for two oboes and English horn: Composer Dates Title Publisher 1 Rimsky Korsakow / ( ) The Flight of the Bumblebee June Emerson Warrack IV. Compositions after 1910 IV.1: Original compositions: Composer Dates Title Publisher 1 Moser, Franz ( ) Trio C-Dur opus 38 (1926) Bosworth 2 Dresden, Sem ( ) Klein trio (1912) Donemus 3 Kreisler, von Alexander ( ) Little Trio Southern Music Company 4 Jacob, Gordon ( ) Two Pieces Stainer & Bell 5 Maganini, Q ( ) The troubadors Edition Musicus 6 Hadamowsky, Hans ( ) Variationen uber ein Volkslied Broekmans & Van Poppel 7 Badings, Henk ( ) Trio no 4a Donemus 8 Cadow, Paul ( ) Kleine suite Thomi-Berg 9 Genzmer, Harald ( ) Trio for two oboes and English Horn 10 Amelsvoort, Jos van ( ) Trio for two oboes and English horn Compusic
88 86 MUSIC FOR TWO OBOES AND ENGLISH HORN Composer Dates Title Publisher 11 Koetsier, Jan (1911- ) 10 Variationen und Fughetta über Themen van J.S. Bach op 125 (1991) 12 Ardevol, Jos ( ) CUARTA SONATA A TRES-2OB/EH Donemus 13 Chandler, Mary ( ) Trio (1989) Phylloscopus 14 Presser, William ( ) TRIO-2OB/EH Tritone Press 15 Baur, Jürg ( ) Echoi (1980) Breitkopf & Härtel 16 Milde, Friedrich ( ) Variationen uber Leopold Mozarts Schwabentanz 17 Kont, Paul ( ) EKLOGEN(Sc&Pts)-2OB/EH (1998) 18 Schuyt, Nico ( ) Alla notturna (1971) Wenen, ISMN M Freedman, Harry ( ) Trio (1948) manuscript 20 Butterworth, Arthur ( ) Leprachauns Phylloscopus 21 Zehm, F. ( ) Hindemith Variationen 2ob, EH Sch 22 Andriessen, Jurriaan ( ) Divertimento (1989) 2nd part for ob, ob d am, EH 23 Sestak, Zdenek ( ) Hudna pro Hoboj (1967) Donemus 24 Swindale, Owen ( ) Arran Sketches Phylloscopus 25 Swindale, Owen ( ) Sonatina Giocosa - 2 Ob, Eh Phylloscopus 26 Dreyfus ( ) LARINO, SAFE HAVEN-2OB/EH Feja Musik Verlag 27 Constantidines, Dinos ( ) Reflections 1 28 Koumans, Rudolf ( ) Trio for two oboes and English horn, op 64 Compusic 29 Kucera, Vaclav ( ) Consonanza manuscript 30 Turok, Paul ( ) Three virtuoso caprices after Paganini (1978) Seesaw 31 Dubois, Pierre Max ( ) Lou Cascaleret - Dances Provencales Editions musicales Alphonse Leduc 32 Woodbury, Arthur ( ) When Nod dreams Southern Music Company 33 Marvin, John ( ) Music from the Night (2000) Fish Creek Music 34 Roseman, Ronald ( ) Trio (1962) ACA 35 Ross, Walter ( ) Old Joe Clark s Musical Offering Amoris International 36 Olthuis, Kees ( ) Hobotrio (1985) 3rd part for two ob / EH 37 Murgatroyd, Vernon ( ) Glad day (1990) Donemus 38 Reade, Paul ( ) Luckbarrow dances (1990) Hove, Nova Music 39 Evensen, Bernt Kasberg ( ) Petite Suite (1944) Norwegian Wind Music 40 Lange, Anton J. de ( ) Trio in F-dur manuscript 41 Lunde, Ivar ( ) Three dances for two oboes and English horn op. 4 no.1 42 Lunde, Ivar ( ) Trio for two oboes and English Horn op 8a (1963/88) 43 Kibbe, Michael ( ) Trio (Pastorale & Scherzo) KE 44 Kibbe, Michael ( ) Suite in the Baroque Manner; 2 ob EH (1983) 45 Kibbe, Michael ( ) Variations on a theme by Mozart (1989) KE 46 Kibbe, Michael ( ) Trio opus 6 (two ob / EH; or ob, ob d am, EH) (1991) Norwegian Wind Music Norwegian Wind Music KE KE
89 THE DOUBLE REED 87 Composer Dates Title Publisher 47 Kibbe, Michael ( ) Divertimento No.4 idem KE 48 Hinchliffe, Robert ( ) Trio for two oboes and English horn 49 Bullard, Alan ( ) Little Suite Colne 50 Waldejer, Erik ( ) Trio du Nord (1987) Norwegian Wind Music 51 Waldejer, Erik ( ) Oboe trio in one movement for 2 oboes and English horn (1995) 52 Reid, Sally ( ) Sketches for two oboes and English horn (1972) Norwegian Wind Music Elm Creek Music 53 Bayliss, Colin ( ) Threnody Da Capo 54 Aitken, Elisabeth ( ) Cake dance Suite Phylloscopus 55 Aitken, Elisabeth ( ) Talisker where Sea meets Skye Phylloscopus 56 Powning, Graham ( ) Trio nr. 1 (1972) M&M 57 Powning, Graham ( ) Trio nr. 2 (1974) M&M 58 Powning, Graham ( ) Variations and Fugue on the Star Spangled Banner McFarland 59 Powning, Graham ( ) Trio nr. 3 (1975) Phylloscopus 60 Powning, Graham ( ) Trio nr. 4 (1977) Phylloscopus 61 Powning, Graham ( ) Trio nr. 5 (1978) Phylloscopus 62 Powning, Graham ( ) Trio nr. 6 (1979) Phylloscopus 63 Powning, Graham ( ) Variations and Fugue on St Antoni Chorale 64 Powning, Graham ( ) Variations and Fugue on La Donna e Mobile Phylloscopus Phylloscopus 65 Powning, Graham ( ) Variations on Waltzing Matilda McFarland 66 Powning, Graham ( ) Three Jazz Etudes; 2 ob, EH McFarland 67 Powning, Graham ( ) Three American Songs (1983) UNP 68 Powning, Graham ( ) Three English Songs (1979) Phylloscopus 69 Powning, Graham ( ) Three French Songs (1976) Phylloscopus 70 Blake, N ( ) Suite for 2 oboes and cor anglais, opus 6 June Emerson 71 Regt, Hendrik de ( ) Musica, opus 36 (1974) Donemus 72 Nieuwenhuizen, H ( ) Three easy variations on Folk tunes Broekmans & Van Poppel 73 Sharma, Liz ( ) Suite for three reeds (2 Ob + EH or bassoboe) Phylloscopus 74 Sharma, Liz ( ) Dawn Chorus Music from Tiger Books 75 Faulkner, Elisabeth ( ) 3 Pieces Chiltern Music Publishers 76 Apfelstadt, Marc ( ) Trio for two oboes and English Horn 77 Binnington, Stephan ( ) Trio (1998) Phylloscopus 78 Luyt, Willem ( ) Trio in G-minor, Op.2 Compusic 79 Thomas, David Evan ( ) Hydia (1985) 2 ob + EH 80 Knight Tim ( ) Three Miniatures and an Andante Phylloscopus 81 Caldini, Fulvio ( ) CONDUCTUS Op30/c-2OB/EH (1995) 82 Caldini, Fulvio ( ) REVEIL-MEMOIRE Op21/a-2OB/ EH ( ) 83 Caldini, Fulvio ( ) DUE CANONI Op42/a-2OB/EH ( ) Berben Berben Berben
90 88 MUSIC FOR TWO OBOES AND ENGLISH HORN Composer Dates Title Publisher 84 Caldini, Fulvio ( ) Sonatina d inverno (2002) Berben 85 Holik, Joh ( ) Peppone, serenade für 2 oboen und EH (1987) 86 Hansel, Philip ( ) Five for three Phylloscopus 87 Wagner, Ulrich ( ) Cuirtomichioll (1992) 2 ob + EH 88 Kok, Ronald Deus ex machina Manuscript 89 Magnuson Phillip An English Suite (1993) Shawnee Press 90 Wimart, Vincent Divertissement pour 2 hautbois et cor anglais DE Manuscript 91 Gunn David Death of an Aardvark, No G702 not edited; mauscript lost IV.2: Arrangements for two oboes and English horn: Composer Dates Title Publisher 1 Ravel ( ) Fugue from: Le Tombeau de Couperin Western Internat Music 2 Villa-Lobos, Heitor ( ) And the little Princess was dancing Western Internat Music V. Compositions by composer with unknown year of birth Composer Dates Title Publisher 1 ANON ECHO CANZONA-2OB/EH 2 Harris, Paul Divertimento QT14 3 Harris, Paul Trio 4 Harris, Paul Four Pieces for three instruments Bro 5 Hawkins. A. Christmas Music; 2 ob EH BMC 6 Jammart, J Trio no 1 7 Johnston, Jim Elegy after a good friend IDRS Library holdings 8 Jones, Richard Roderick Commedia 9 Mayer, F Serenade 1 Phylloscopus 10 Mayer, F Serenade 2 Phylloscopus 11 Mayer, F Serenade 3 Phylloscopus 12 Meumann 10 PIECES (Hausmusik)-2OB/EH 13 MISC 6 plaine & easie trios 20b/EH 14 Nickereon, Jac Italy interpolation 15 Popovici, Elise Rhapsodie pour 2 hautbois et cor anglais 16 Salter, T. Abstractions Usk 17 Schmidt, A. Spiel mit (3 vol) 3 ob / 2ob, EH WZ 18 Schmidt, A. EASY TRIOS BK1-2OB/EH 19 Schmidt, A. EASY TRIOS BK2-2OB/EH 20 Walther, Friedrich Episoden Zim Editions des musiques actuelles
91 THE DOUBLE REED 89 TABLE 2. THE LIST OF OBOE TRIOS IN THE ARCHIVES OF THE PRINCE OF SCHWARZENBERGER, CESKY KRUMLOV, CZECH. Number Catalogue Number of Map Composer Composition 23 Wenth Petite Serenade Concertante 24 Wenth Trio concerté 34 I Triebensee Trio in F II Triebensee Trio in B III Triebensee Trio in C IV Krommer Trio in F V Wranitzky Trio in C VI Poessinger Trio in F 35 I Triebensee Haydn symf 94 II Wenth Haydn III Krommer Pleyel IV Wenth La molinara V Wenth Pas de deux VI Dutilie Pas de deux 36 I Wenth Trio in C II Wenth Trio in B III Wenth Divertimento in F IV Wenth Trio in C V Wenth Trio in B VI Wenth Divertimento in C 62 Beethoven Trio opus 87
92 90 A RARE PHOTO OF FERNAND GILLET ( ) A Rare Photo of Fernand Gillet ( ) Robert Freeman Austin, Texas August 30,2004 Professor Rebecca Henderson School of Music Dear Becky, Attached please find a rare - possibly unique - photo of my oboe teacher, Fernand Gillet, principal oboist of the Boson Symphony during the period 1924 until his retirement in I studied with him in Boston during the period , when I was a high school student at Milton Academy. A Frenchman, he studied in Paris at the Conservatoire with his uncle, Georges Gillet, with whom Marcel Tabuteau also studied. Like his uncle, Fernand wrote some difficult technical etudes for the oboe, which I am sure you have played at one time or another. Fernand Gillet received an honorary doctoral degree from the Eastman School at my inaugural ceremony there in the fall of 1973, at which point he had reached his 90th birthday. Unlike Tabuteau, Femand Gillet did not make his own reeds, delegating that function to his second oboist, Jean DeVergie, with whom people like me studied reed making, That gave Fernand Gillet time to do all kinds of other things, including flying for the French Air Force over Germany during the First World War, strapped to the planes in which he flew, face down, himself throwing bombs down on the Germans with the spirit that he used later in dealing with conductors. He was also fond of racing cars; the photo attached shows him standing next to one such in what I suppose were the late 20s (early 30s?), probably near Boston. The photograph was given to me by his widow, Marie, an American lady who taught piano at the New England Conservatory where she funded an oboe scholarship in his memory. I thought the picture might be of some use to the archives of the competition for oboists founded in his name. Despite the fact that he didn t like to make reeds, he was a wonderful musician and a fine teacher. Best wishes, Sincerely, Robert Freeman Dean, College of Fine Arts
93 Order Out of Chaos: A Tale of Perestroika, Part 1 Tony Rothman Los Angeles, California I. PRELUDE ADAGIO SKEPTICISMO This tale is about music, a physicist, Russians and bureaucracy, though perhaps in reverse order. As a rule, tales should be embellished to the edge of absurdity, not beyond. But since this story threatens to topple over the brink without assistance, any invention or exaggeration on my part is strictly unnecessary. The events get underway innocently in Moscow, the Big Onion, in the winter of That year the first snows had fallen on October 10. Leonid Brezhnev died a few weeks later, though his body was expected to live forever; I was cooped up in a 40-watt room the size of two coffins at Moscow State University on Lenin Hills. You have seen the edifice in the Guinness Book of World Records above the caption World s largest university building. Ostensibly I was studying the early universe while at the Shternberg Astronomical Institute but a steady diet of borshch and boiled eggs led me astray. I went to the theatre and got drunk (vodka was still available). I also collected Soviet oboe music. The hobby is not quite so eccentric as the collection of barbed wire or antique spark plugs. It happens that I am an amateur oboist. Long ago I toyed with the idea of playing professionally but, in perhaps the only sensible decision of my life, I abandoned that insane course of action. Nevertheless I remain proficient on the instrument and have on more than one occasion been mistaken for a union member. The crucial fact for this tale (which makes it more interesting than the usual romances about violinists or pianists) is that the oboe repertoire is far from extensive. Beethoven, Brahms, Tchaikovsky did not champion the oboe. Pasculli, Brod, Daelli and other nineteenth-century composers who wrote for it have not exactly found their niches on Parnassus. To be honest, virtually all oboe music written from the end of the 18th century to the beginning of the 20th is worthless. The one hundred-year abyss in the repertoire partially explains why oboists (and other wind players) tend to be more adventurous in their tastes than string players, for whom music died with Brahms. There are other reasons as well, but those are the subject of another essay. Still, it should now be easier to appreciate why, when foraging for food in the Big Onion, I also did not hesitate to buy what little I found in Soviet music stores. Most was crap. Whether more nonsense is published in the US or the USSR is a debatable question. If I encounter more there than here I suspect it is because certain editors connected with the Soviet Composers Union tends to promote the fortunes of young, unknown Georgian and Armenian composers by arranging for publication of their works. In THE DOUBLE REED 91 principle the activity is a useful one but possible side effects are easily imagined. Among my purchases was an album entitled simply Pieces for Solo Oboe, published in 1982 by Soviet Composer, the Composers Union outlet, in an edition of 1900 copies. Price: 85 kopeks, about $1.50 at the old exchange rate, about 15 cents at the new one, in either case about the cost of a double bowl of pelmeni (with sour cream). The value of the contents corresponded closely to the price. You will find plenty of village scenes in which the sun, during its daily course, rises cheerily over peasant children immersed in their innocent games, and casts its beneficent rays over quarreling husbands and wives. You will find Chuvash dances and the dance of a woodland sprite. Those hearts touched by black-velvet paintings of sad clowns and wideeyed puppies sold on Texas roadsides would positively melt at one of these village fairs. My own heart undergoes a different sort of palpitation. But one should remove glass shards from the soul: even Shostakovich wrote songs in praise of Stalin and in 1982 Stalin s shadow had not faded. At the other extreme, the album contains a number of avant-garde works, obviously written under the influence of oboist Heinz Holliger s Swiss-German school. These pieces abound in obscure notation and the specialized effects which were popular in American music of the late 1960 s. The resulting squeaks, squawks and gurgles sometimes lead me to speak of piss and fart music. What such exercises to not do is touch the heart, yet alone melt it. I would have been tempted to shelve the album next to my Tamerlane s mausoleum night light were it not for a single piece that stood head and shoulders above the rest: a little Triptych composed in 1975 by one Aleksandr Raskatov. The triptych was not so little (a performance would run about 10 minutes); it lay well under the fingers, so well I thought the composer must surely be an oboist,
94 92 ORDER OUT OF CHAOS: A TALE OF PERESTROIKA, PART 1 and at the same time it had what most other modern oboe music lacks: a singing line. The oboe is among the most lyrical of instruments, yet in this century, when not portraying village roosters, it is invariably called upon to sneer, cackle, piss and fart. Raskatov managed to avoid both banality and absurdity. The last movement in particular was stunning, building an extended line up to one of the most exciting climaxes for oboe I had ever encountered. Were I forced to compare the Little Triptych to another work, I could choose only Benjamin Britten s Six Metamorphoses After Ovid for the approximate idiom and level of technical difficulty and the quality. The odd oboist reading this memoir will understand I am bestowing upon the triptych high praise: Britten s Metamorphoses are considered among the century s best oboe music. II. GLASNOST TANGO When I made my break for the West on the last day of May 1983, the triptych came with me. I continued to study the piece off and on over the next three years and performed it several times at informal gatherings. There the matter went into hibernation. By October of 1986 glasnost was underway and the number of friendship walks, friendship marathons, friendship sleighrides and friendship barbeques had risen sharply. Passing through Princeton, my home, was a delegation of Soviet composers. A joint concert of Soviet-Princeton modern music was scheduled to take place on campus and, more out of a sense of obligation than interest, at the last minute I decided to attend, managing to overcome my instinctive dread of village fairs and Chuvash dances. Any fears were unwarranted. The bilateral venture was serious, professional. Most interesting and surprising to those present was that the Soviets clearly carried the day. American composers and cognoscenti sneer at Soviet attempts at the avant garde, regarding them as derivative and ten years behind the times, if not twenty. To a large extent this is true. The world of the average Soviet artist is much more limited than that of his Western counterpart. Until recently severe censorship limited the subjects that could be openly explored, a general isolation continues to filter out influences from abroad and, perhaps most important, an interior orthodoxy of the Russian tends not to disturb things at rest. The result is not so much derivative as backwards, and the backwardness is immediately apparent at any concert or art exhibit particularly the latter where the surrealism of the 1930 s and 40 s is continually being recreated and where glasnost has unleashed an avalanche of adolescent erotic fantasies. (The $400,000 price paid at a Sotheby s auction for a piece of recent Soviet art shows only that the buyers have yet to traipse through the innumerable galleries and salons, hidden in hotels, in garages, on embankments, in suburbs, where thousands of such artists have infused their canvases with the worst motifs from the new comic-book school of the West. I do not consider them true artists, yet alone Russian artists.) Many Russians are aware of the shortcomings, vaguely sensing that Soviet artists should do better. A more common reaction among artists, though, is a chauvinism, a chauvinism finding its most extreme expression in the writings of Dostoevsky and Solzhenitsyn. Just so, just so! We must stand before the West to show them that Russian music is much more skillful, the flowering of a long tradition. Western art preaches the negation of tradition, almost anti-tradition. It is devoid of roots and he who renounces his roots renounces God. Just so. Ironically, Russians name many of their works and theatres experiment. Having said this, it must be admitted that American art, especially the type produced at universities, may be sophisticated by comparison but has become intellectualized to the point of disassociation from the emotions and ultimately from the audience. American art increasingly gives the impression of being created by people who have read, have listened, have watched, but have not lived. I am not the first to voice this complaint but I saw its truth clearly at the Princeton concert where the American works were greeted by indifference and the Soviet works by warm applause. A little sophistication is willingly sacrificed for accessibility (but not too much: Philip Glass music is for brain-dead people; Steve Reich s for the mildly retarded). Most successful on the program proved to be an unaccompanied clarinet piece by Zarrina Mirshakar, a young composer from Tadjikistan. The solo impressed me enough that I sought out Mirshakar during intermission to ask whether she had written anything for oboe. No, but I d be happy to. Well then, let me commission something from you. Mirshakar ran off with glee but the request surprised me as much as it did her. The pockets of a vagabond scholar rarely have more than holes in them and thirty-odd years of life and six trips to the Soviet Union had yet to include the commission of a piece of music. At a reception following the concert I spoke again to Mirshakar and she agreed to look into the details. During our conversation I mentioned Raskatov s Triptych, how well it was written
95 THE DOUBLE REED 93 and asked if she had any idea who the mysterious composer was. Sasha Raskatov? Oh yes, he lives in Moscow. If I were to say, At the time I could not know it, but that innocent conversation sealed my fate, I would sound like the author of wretched paperback romances, but it would largely be true. III. MODERATO THRIFTICOSO Within several months Mirshakar wrote, suggesting I get in touch with G. Schirmer, the New York music publisher, to formally arrange a commission. At Schirmer s, unknown to the world at large, is a small band of enthusiasts who spend much of their time dealing with Soviet music and musicians. In fact, Schirmer is the American arm of VAAP, which literally stands for vanity of vanities the All Union Agency of Authors Rights. VAAP is pronounced VA-AP. By any pronunciation it is the notorious Soviet Copyright Agency. Until recently, when one published the work of a Soviet author abroad, VAAP received the royalties, not the author. When one commissioned a work from a Soviet composer, one paid VAAP, not the composer. This wonder of communism is similar to American author-agent agreements: VAAP does little or nothing to promote its charges and receives a substantial cut. Unsubstantiated rumors have long had it that VAAP takes up to seventy percent of the income; at Schirmer they mentioned 30%. (I now have reason to believe it may be closer to 20%.) The inequity is the first reason why it is vastly cheaper to commission a work from a Soviet composer than an American composer. Schirmer discouraged me from offering a large payment (an unnecessary precaution), knowing that the composer is not getting a fair share. A more important reason is that Soviet salaries are roughly ten times lower than American salaries. If you paid $1000 for a piece, a small commission by our standards, then even at the old official exchange rate it would represent three months salary for the average Soviet. If you bypassed VAAP and illegally paid the composer directly in hard currency, $1000 would represent a substantial blackmarket fortune. A third reason why it pays to buy Soviet music is that Russians have spent their lives in a country where a chronic shortage of everything (except philosophy) has robbed them of an advanced sense of the value of money. One of the triumphs of perestroika is that it has destroyed the world s last outpost where people occasionally did something for the pleasure of it. The actual commissioning process proved to be straightforward and informal. Valeria Giannini at Schirmer merely telexed VAAP to request that Mirshakar write me an oboe piece. Financial arrangements were not mentioned at the time; apparently it is assumed that the customer has discussed such matters with the composer. Soon a reply was received indicating that Mirshakar had accepted the commission. But even before the technicalities were seen to, the plot turned, and a short story was transformed into a saga. In early 1987, at about the time I received Mirshakar s note, a letter arrived from Moscow bearing an unfamiliar return address. The author of the Little Triptych for oboe, Aleksandr Raskatov is writing to you, it began. At our agency for authors rights they have recently informed me that you perform my work and have kindly given me your address. It was very pleasant to hear you like the composition Raskatov went on to request any programs or posters from my concerts and wished me new creative success. Then: P.S. It would give me great pleasure to write something for you personally. Ah. An extraordinary offer from a kindred spirit, toiling unsung in a sordid Moscow garret; here is the Russian soul in its purest, most admirable incarnation. Russian soul? Please, its very mention gives me brain fever. The zagadochnaya Russian soul was a monstrous fiction invented by 19th-century romantics who needed to sell memoirs to an unsuspecting public weaned on tales of far-off lands and honeydew. Can you not recognize a window being cut open to the West when you seen one? From here we will threaten the Americans. That may have been. Nevertheless, despite any possible ulterior motives on the composer s part, I chose not to see them and was carried away. I was convinced, and remain convinced, that I would never receive such an offer from an American composer. Although the number of my concert appearances these days was severely limited, I explained to Raskatov in a letter, if he desired I would be happy to commission a work from him. I suggested another oboe solo or a quartet for oboe and strings. Raskatov countered that my ideas were very interesting but that he would prefer to write me a not-large chamber concerto for oboe, strings and perhaps one other decorative instrument. A concerto. The number of oboe concertos written in this century is not large, the number of memorable concertos is pitiful: the Martinu, the Vaughn Williams, the Strauss a few others known only to oboists. Who was a cosmologist to refuse a concerto? If I could enrich the repertoire I would. Raskatov requested I get in touch
96 94 ORDER OUT OF CHAOS: A TALE OF PERESTROIKA, PART 1 with VAAP; Valeria at Schirmer dutifully sent off another telex. IV. FUGUE INTERNATIONALE Another eight months of hibernation set in and with it a digression. A member of the Moscow Philharmonic had told me that Boris Tishchenko, Leningrad s leading composer, had composed a woodwind quintet. If so, I would have liked to get my hands on it. But Laurel Fay, Schirmer s resident expert on Soviet music, maintained the piece did not exist. I would have to write to Tishchenko himself to be sure. Any citizen of the 21st century would naturally think the existence of a Tishchenko quintet should be easy enough to verify in a Moscow music catalog, but such naivete points out the single most important difference between the US and the USSR: in the Soviet Union information is scarcer than caviar and hence more valuable, whereas in the US information is as common as prime-time television and consequently worthless. The Soviet information gap, due to an absence of any conceivable sort of data base, is completely compatible with one of the most primitive aspects of Soviet life its lack of formality. Until last year (more or less) there were essentially no agents, no agencies, no administrative assistants. Whether you wanted to reach Evgeny Nesterenko, the Bolshoi s leading bass, or Andrei Sakharov, you merely got his phone number from a friend and called. If the structure of America is crystalline, with information bonds stretching from coast to coast, the Soviet Union is closer to a gas or an amorphic solid where the informational links are no longer than the distance from friend to friend. Another of perestroika s triumphs is the introduction of the booking agency. So I wrote to Tishchenko care of the Leningrad Composers Union. Laurel Fay proved to be correct there was no quintet. By this time, though, I had lost my inhibitions: if Tishchenko hadn t written one he should, or if not a quintet, then a trio for oboe, viola and piano. Why such an unlikely ensemble? Oboe and piano alone form an unnatural combination; the timbres blend at best poorly and the result is two solitary instruments, each marching to its own drummer. The problem was solved admirably in 1905, when the violinist and composer Charles Martin Loeffler (who, though born in Alsatian, became a Bostonian after protracted navigation through Kiev and Berlin), wrote his utterly unique Two Rhapsodies for oboe, viola and piano. The alto voice of the sadly neglected viola provides just the right glue to bind the wayward oboe and piano together and the resulting chorus is as lucious as any heard on the face of the earth. But as you may imagine, the inclusion of not one, but two unlikely instruments makes the piece an oddity, with the unhappy result that it is rarely performed. I thought it high time to call a companion into existence. Tishchenko agreed and my excitement could hardly be contained. Although, as I soon discovered, Moscow composers with avant-garde tendencies are hostile toward Tishchenko because he is not an innovator, he remains Dmitri Shostakovich s foremost student and exponent of Shostakovich s school. One hundred years from now, only specialists will care whether American composers were ten years ahead of Moscow composers and whether Moscow composers were ten years ahead of Leningrad composers. Normal bipeds will care only whether the music was good. Since I could not commission a piece from Shostakovich, I would do the next best thing. Toward the end of 1987 word arrived from Valeria at Schirmer that Mirshakar s piece was nearly complete and the time had come to formally discuss payment. We telexed VAAP with an offer of $500 for whatever Mirshakar had produced. How did I arrive at this remarkable figure? Cat in a bag is Russian for pig in a poke; cat or pig, I assumed my purchase resembled a sonata. I have never written a sonata but the amount of work involved must be closer to a short story or article than to a novel. Poor journalists rarely pay me more than $500 for a short story, not close to minimum wage, usually. Mirshakar would suffer the same capitalistic fate. About the same time, word came that Raskatov was also nearing the completion of his labors. Again I offered $500. Other things being equal, a concerto surely ought to be worth more than a sonata, but the fact that Raskatov had approached me argued for a discount and, to repeat, an intellectual vagabond s finances spoke louder than esthetics. I do not apologize. Raskatov got his money s worth; that will become clear enough. It happened that in December 1987, I was to attend a scientific conference in India. By not, glasnost was in full swing and, although two and one-half years earlier I had sworn an oath never to set foot in the Soviet Union again, news reports had made me curious enough to give that benighted country a seventh glance. Thus, on Christmas eve 1987, enroute from India to the United States, I appeared unannounced on Raskatov s Moscow doorstep. The shock was absolute. Sasha Raskatov turned out to be my age, to within seven weeks. At first I regarded this as a coincidence (and
97 THE DOUBLE REED 95 it may have been) but it is not inconceivable that something in his music spoke to a contemporary. Certainly believers of secret affinities, synchronicity and magnetic influences will find support for their theories here. Sasha had graduated the Moscow Conservatory, which he regarded as four wasted years, due to his excellent pre-conservatory training, he paid the rent by composing film scores and in general lived off his commissions. He had written a piano and a cello concerto, music for percussion, a cantata, much chamber music and had recently been commissioned to write a viola sonata by Yuri Bashmet, the Soviet Union s leading violist. The oboe concerto was in the process of being recopied and I saw only a few pages of it. I would have to withhold judgement until I had it under my fingers. Raskatov also played tapes of several of his compositions, none of which impressed me as much as the triptych, which as it turned out, he had been forced to write at the conservatory at the age of 22. Later, when I heard a performance of the piano concerto (played by his wife Olya, who is both a fine composer herself and virtuoso pianist) I came to regard it as an excellent work. But at the time, I began to wonder whether I would receive a cat instead of a concerto. Nevertheless, Raskatov and I hit it off very well and several days later I found myself at the headquarters of VAAP itself, facing across a conference table four officials of the Soviet Copyright Agency, who held pads and pencils in their hands and a telexed offer of $500 for a concerto between us. They wished to confirm the figure. As delicately as possible I justified my feeble offer, explaining that my finances prohibited a more generous sum and, anyway, Sasha himself had offered to write it. They understood I was not a large corporation, the head of the music division politely replied, and he turned to ask Sasha whether the amount was acceptable to him. Sasha was caught off guard. He had not expected a kopek, he later explained in private. Then why on earth had he asked me to get in touch with VAAP, which obligated me to pay a commission? Sasha admitted that he knew nothing about how such things worked. Clearly, he had even less of a business sense than I, a deficit that he would correct shortly. Still, artists should be paid for their work; I regretted only that he would be getting rubles minus VAAP s cut zero minus zero when I could have handed him 500 genuine dollars. A Soviet composer s ignorance of VAAP s role in the commissioning process points again to the amorphic nature of the Soviet Union (a state to become ever more transparent), but there was more to be learned from our meeting at the Copyright Agency. I had come with a proposal of my own: would VAAP help arrange a Moscow production of a play I had written if Raskatov composed music to it? The VAAP officials reacted favorably to the idea and requested that I send a copy of the script. If all this sounds entirely mercenary, it is. Tourists, feasted at Moscow hotels, are frequently taken in by Russian generosity (an oxymoron). If the traveler is overwhelmed by the gifts he receiveth on the first visit, he would be wise not to go back for a second. It may be said truly that what first appeareth to be generosity is merely business and barter you must. They who have traded most with the Russe know best to heed the golden rule: ask unto them no less than they would ask unto you. No, ask ten times more and even then you shall be humiliated. The Russe hath a quality that brooks no defeat in the game of upping the stakes. As will be apparent to the skeptic who girdeth his loins and continues. A month later in America, Valeria phoned me. The Mirshakar piece was in hand. A few days later it was in mine. Mirshakar had written a six-page long unaccompanied sonata. It had nothing in common with the clarinet solo I had heard over a year earlier. Instead, after an exciting start which raises great expectations, the artist introduces ever more specialized techniques favored by the Swiss-German school (especially flutter-tonguing, in order to appreciate the difficulty of which on the oboe, the reader should attempt to roll his r s with his forefinger thrust squarely into his mouth) that would make the piece inaccessible to most mortal performers. Mirshakar s piece was not exactly of the piss and fart school (for Asian people cannot avoid melody), but neither could she resist the temptation to exploit the resources of the oboe to their extremes, with the result that she was carried beyond the horizons of her less-adventurous contemporaries. Even if the sonata could be played who, in post-modern America where music and architecture have regressed thirty years, would want to? I struggled with the piece for several months, vainly squeaking, squawking and spitting in order to achieve the wished-for effects, but failing in the end to achieve satisfactory results, and the sonata remains sadly unperformed. So ended my first commission. In her phone call, Valeria proposed another escalation. A giant festival of Soviet music, organized by Sarah Caldwell, was to be held in Boston next month. Afterwards, Schirmer was planning to host some of the composers in New York. Would I agree to help escort and translate? Moreover, if I was interested, Schirmer would provide me with free tickets for the festival
98 96 ORDER OUT OF CHAOS: A TALE OF PERESTROIKA, PART 1 concerts themselves. Why not? Gathered in Boston for the festival were all the leading Soviet composers: Alfred Schnittke, Sophia Gubaydulina, Boris Tishchenko, Rodion Shchedrin and a host of others. Now widely known in the West, Schnittke is currently the Soviet Union s most famous composer. Of his works the cello concerto is probably most moving to me, although most widely played is the Concerto Grosso No. 1, dating from , in which can be heard a tango as well as passages reminiscent of Vivaldi. Schnittke s fans, which are legion, resent the term eclectic ; his music is polystylistic. I am a physicist. Schnittke has remarked that he views the history of music as a continuum from which he can pick and choose what he wants. In any event, it must be admitted that the business of quoting and paraphrasing in art has become positively epidemic. One is forced to wonder whether in the late 20th century, the terrain is already so overgrown, not only with uncountable lost souls, groping about blindly, but with every conceivable idea, style and fashion, that the only path remaining for the hapless artist is to parody those giants who have preceded him. Gubaydulina, too, is riding a wave of popularity, though recordings of her works are harder to come by; listen to her Seven Last Words of Christ for accordion. Tishchenko remains known in the West almost solely for his 1963 cello concerto, written for a bottomheavy orchestra of winds and brass according to the laws of paradox and the absurd. Shostakovich liked the piece so much that he reorchestrated it according to the laws of intellect and reason, with the result that is an entirely different composition. His more recent Violin Concerto No. 2 carries traditional virtuosity to new extremes. Shchedrin s best work is undoubtedly the opera Dead Souls based on Gogol s novel, but in the Bolshoi Ballet s repertoire are also Anna Karenina and The Seagull, written for his wife Maya Plisetskaya and filled with quotations from Tchaikovsky. The festival itself turned out to be a financial disaster, perhaps responsible for Boston s current recession, but that story has been chronicled elsewhere and I need not go into it. In any case my main duties were in Manhattan. Ah, so you re the one I ve been corresponding with, said Tishchenko when I presented myself to him. He reiterated his intention to write me a trio and questioned me on some technical matters. I must have convinced him of my abilities, for later that evening he introduced me to Chari Nurimov, a Turkmen composer, as an oboe professor at Princeton University. My astonishment was extreme when Nurimov, showing a keen interest in my professional duties, pressed me to know whether I played with an orchestra or as a soloist. Taken aback, I could do no more than sputter, sometimes both, and the next day I regretted even that feeble utterance when Nurimov clasped my hand warmly in his and ceremoniously introduced me, before a rolling television camera, as the internationally celebrated oboe soloist. To my infinite disappointment, no booking agencies have contacted me, but I saw that the moment of my inevitable compromise approached and the False Dmitri lost no time in escaping to New York. If until now it seems the Soviet bureaucracy has been functioning reasonably well, in Boston was revealed the first hint its true nature. VAAP neglected to inform Gubaydulina, Tishchenko and Shchedrin of the New York tour with the result that they returned to the Soviet Union and the post-festival festivities nearly collapsed. A reduced delegation did arrive in Manhattan, however, for a week of seminars and shopping. My primary responsibility was to act as companion and guide for Georgi Dmitriev, who was then head of the Moscow Branch of the Soviet Composers Union. Someone should do a study on where Americans get their ideas about the Soviet Union. At a public meeting at the City College of New York, we listened to the chairman of the music department explain to the audience how the Composers Union provided housing for its members, provided them with a living wage and bought their works. That night I was sitting next to Schnittke and translating for him. As I relayed the chairman s remarks, Schnittke s face took on an ever greater expression of disbelief until I finally felt obligated to say, I m just translating. If you disagree, tell him. Schnittke demurred. But later in the evening the misimpressions compounded to the point where he finally said in his gentle manner, I don t know about anyone else, but the Composers Union never provided me with an apartment. The others agreed. It soon became clear that neither does the Composers Union provide a living wage or buy composers works. It does provide creative retreats outside of large cities, where for 90 rubles a month a composer can work two months out of the year without distractions. It does sponsor several concert series, in particular the Moscow Autumn Festival, to showcase Moscow composers. There is a cooperative apartment house in central Moscow which 35 years ago was owned by the Composers Union and where many musical families, including Raskatov s, still live, leasing apartments for about 40 rubles per month. The building has been declared a danger zone and signs are hung on it warning pedestrians to
99 THE DOUBLE REED 97 approach no closer than two meters. The Ministry of Culture sometimes buys completed scores. As for that honor, Raskatov tells how at a recent festival in London, one of his percussion pieces was performed. For her labors on the bass drum, his wife Olya received 200 pounds sterling. Sasha, for his labors in composition, received 150 rubles from the Ministry of Culture. Other revelations awaited in New York. On the following day I received a concerto for oboe and fifteen string instruments by Aleksandr Raskatov. This work from a foreign land was dedicated to me, an honor I appreciated and that would unlikely ever be repeated. Unlike Mirshakar s piece, Raskatov s was technically more conventional. It did require the performer at one point to hit a note so high (Bflat) a hernia would surely result, at another point to sound two notes simultaneously a so-called double-harmonic on B-flat and F and hold them for eleven bars. And in a few places to flutter tongue on the lowest notes of the instrument. Otherwise it appeared perfectly feasible. Dmitriev was sitting at my side when I had my first good look at the score. How is it? he wanted to know. As far as I can tell it looks like a real piece. At that moment Dmitriev pronounced, with all the authority of his office, If you and Raskatov are agreed, I can promise that it will be played at the Moscow Autumn Festival with a good soloist. We ll send you a tape. V. CONCERTO OCHEN GROSSO The game was afoot, as has been said. My initial reaction to Dmitriev s proposal was ambivalent. Legally I was entitled to premiere the concerto, which I would have liked to do with a local orchestra. There was another consideration as well. The sound of a Soviet oboe instills in me an aversion I can only liken to that produced by a fist coiled around the neck of a duck in heat. If I were forced to sacrifice the premiere, it would never before the crayfish whistles on the hill be to a Soviet oboist. All this was a bit premature; I had not even practiced the piece. But a few days with it persuaded me that Raskatov might have produced a genuine work, though without an orchestra it was easy to fall into delusion. Unfortunately, the groups I contacted failed to show any interest in the concerto; to them it was just another score to be lost or gather dust. To me the concerto was more special and I felt obligated to get it performed, even if vanity had to take a back seat. So I would give up the premiere, but not to a Soviet. I would give it up to Theodore Baskin. It was my good fortune to have met Baskin when he was a student at Philadelphia s Curtis Institute and when I was about to enroll at nearby Swarthmore College. For two years we philosophized together, drank together, made reeds together and once or twice played a job together. Since our lyceum days Ted has become principal oboist of the Montreal Symphony under Charles Dutoit. He is one of the world s greatest oboists, with a technique to match Holliger s, a beautiful tone that still occasionally betrays its Philadelphia origins and a performance standard which invariably leaves the impression that an intelligence is behind every note. With his heavy orchestral duties and fanatical practicing habits, Ted has been a less than virtuosic correspondent in recent years. To rouse him I sent the scores of the Raskatov and the Mirshakar with a mock-formal letter: Tony Rothman hereby grants Theodore Baskin the right to premiere the concerto by Aleksandr Raskatov and the sonata by Zarrina Mirshakar at the Moscow Autumn Festival and grants him exclusive performance rights for one year from the date of the premiere. His curiosity was piqued and he agreed to perform. Thus began my career as an impresario, which was to last 20 months too long. Although I immediately informed Raskatov of Ted s willingness to participate, the problem of cabbage, which is paradoxically found everywhere and nowhere in the Soviet Union, remained. Even at Dmitriev s initial attempt to usurp the premiere, I hinted that were I to sacrifice the performance I would prefer it to be Baskin, but Dmitriev countered that money (like sugar) was rationed and that the Composers Union generally paid only local expenses. Falling prey to an attack of idiocy, I replied that travel funds might be available from the West. We agreed to think about it. By now it should be apparent that the Soviet concept of money differs from ours. Write a concerto for free. Why not? Payment for commissions? We ll talk about it later. As any number of Russians has put it, One doesn t work for money. The American attitude, of course, is that of Johnson: anyone working for anything other than money is a blockhead. Manifold are the difficulties caused by the philosophical mismatch. Soon Ted received a telex from the Composers Union inviting him to perform the Raskatov Oboe Concerto at the Moscow Autumn Festival on November 20, No travel expenses, no fee. Ted would play for adventure (already something unique from a professional musician) but to expect him to lose money was
100 98 ORDER OUT OF CHAOS: A TALE OF PERESTROIKA, PART 1 more of a soldier s tale than we had bargained for. Yet my loose remarks evidently gave VAAP and the Composers Union, not to mention Raskatov, the idea I was going to find travel funds. In a fashion soon to become excruciatingly familiar, rather than confirming whether this rich American patron of the arts and internationally celebrated oboist had in fact gotten travel funds, they scheduled the concert. At work here was perhaps the most important philosophical principle in Russian culture: miracles. Anyone who has applied for a Soviet visa has waited until a week before departure, then five days the blood pressure is rising then three days, forty-eight hours you are about to cancel the trip Suddenly there it is. New Year s champagne has vanished from the Big Onion. Impossible to find. No chance. But December 31, early morning, the sun has hardly risen, you are at the market and there it is. Out of nowhere, no four hours in line, snatch it up. Light a candle to God. Reliance on miracles was an important part of life in the pre-newtonian middle ages when information was scarce and the concept of causality had yet to be invented. Armies were saved not by tactical excellence but by phalanxes of angels who swept through the air until it was dark and there was a great wailing that put fear into the hearts of the enemy ; famines were visited on the country not by a climactic anomaly but in return for our sins. Paradoxically, because the Soviet Union resembles a gas or at best an amorphic solid, information is still scarce and reliance on miracles remains part of the Russian psychic makeup. As I write these pages the entire country is held in thrall by one Kashpirovsky, a psychotherapist who claims to heal millions simultaneously by televised hypnosis. When you call an American airline three times for an arrival schedule, you get the same answer three times. When you call Aeroflot, you get three different responses. Information has not passed the distance between operators because there are no structural bonds linking them. The behavior of molecules in a gas is random, apparently acausal. When causality is absent anything is permitted. Physicists are not known for their belief in miracles and I doubted that if the concert was to be saved it would be by an angel. Susan Feder, Vice President at Schirmer s, advised me that the Soviets had paid travel expenses for the artists involved in the recent Leningrad International Music Festival and could be pressed. This was consistent with my experience: say yes longer than a Russian can say no and victory shall be yours. In any case, why should a ticket an Aeroflot cost them any money? Susan suggested that Baskin telex them politely, acknowledge the honor and request travel funds. Ted s wife Karen, herself a Montreal Symphony cellist, had naively taken on the role of Ted s secretary for this venture and did as she was told. Neither was Raskatov idle. Acting on my dire warnings telexed to him from Scientific American (where I had recently taken up an unfortunate residence) through VAAP, he spent days, if not weeks, running about Moscow attempting to extract funds from every conceivable organization. I could have written another concerto instead, he recalled. As a result of our efforts Baskin received a second telex: You are cordially invited to play at the Moscow Autumn Festival. No expenses. No fee. Gorbachev, so the rumor went, had recently introduced a measure requiring organizations like the Composers Union to pay hard currency for airline tickets of foreign guests. The angels of Fate had marshaled their forces against us and the great thundering of perestroika deafened us with its dissonant trumpets until Time itself began to crack asunder. Baskin, virtuoso that he was, would need a few weeks to master the concerto and, more to the point, the Montreal Symphony management required two months notice for a leave of absence. Confidence in the mission was further shaken by a run-through of the concerto I organized in August at Bennington College s summer music school. The orchestra, consisting of amateurs with opinions of themselves not exactly in accord with their natural endowments, was forced to read from the large copies of the score I had painstakingly prepared. Why? Because the scribe I had hired to make parts, seeing his opportunity to swindle a man in desperate straits, failed to complete the job in the time agreed and charged me twice his estimate to boot. Death and fatality! I wasted $600 on the useless parts, more than I had paid for the concerto itself, and was angry enough to sue. In return for my pains the members of my band all hated the piece. One violinist, completely unable to withstand the torture of having to play a piece from his own century, jumped to his feet and stormed out halfway through. Another impaled me afterwards: You call this music? Who could say? To massacre a composition requires merely amateurs. To hear through chaos requires a higher level of professionalism. But a Bennington amateur, like the admirable professional he is, always has one eye on the clock. And what of it? At most one eye, or one hand, is needed to play a new composition. Two, why that is totally superfluous. So, our little comedy was over, my hour was up and now I was to get Baskin
101 THE DOUBLE REED 99 to Moscow for a piece nobody liked. And I didn t even have a clear idea of how to do that. From Schirmer s came a suggestion: the National Endowment for the Arts had a special fund to send musicians to festivals. What hadn t they told me months ago? A phone call to Washington confirmed the fund s existence. To apply I needed only write a letter. I did so immediately, explaining in a breath that I had commissioned a concerto from a Soviet composer Raskatov, that a performance was scheduled for November 20th, that Theodore Baskin of the Montreal Symphony had agreed to give the premiere and that the only thing lacking was money. My communique was apparently too laconic. In early September I got a call from Beverly Kratochvil, the Program Director for International Activities, who informed me that the application had caused some discussion and that the council was curious as to how the commission had come about. It is unusual to receive an application from an individual. You aren t an orchestra or a council for the arts, are you? No, I m a physicist who plays the oboe. Why did you commission a piece from a Soviet instead of an American composer? There was only one answer: Because I like his music. To my great surprise about three weeks later, in the fastest action in US government history, Kratochvil informed me that Baskin was to be awarded a grant for 1989 (1988 funds already being allocated). But government momentum is not to be stopped and before the New Year a $1000 check was in hand. It was $8 less than Pan Am s New York- Moscow excursion fare, it arrived three weeks too late to release Baskin for the Moscow Autumn Festival. The Rastatov concerto was announced in the program booklet. The IRS attempted to tax me for the grant. A business trip for Scientific American, carefully orchestrated to have me in Moscow by November 20, was cancelled by the Editor in Chief. My phone bill to Montreal registered 5.2 on the Richter scale. So ended our first attempt at a world premiere.
102 100 OBOISTS AND INTERNET 2 Oboists and Internet 2 Karen Birch Essex, Connecticut Oboe adjustments are a complex and delicate operation which require constant attention. Last spring, a group of students from three different educational institutions spent the afternoon learning this crucial skill from master repairman John Symer. While he explained and demonstrated, they worked to adjust their own instruments and asked a wide variety of questions. It was a typical master class with one distinct difference. The participants were thousands of miles apart. Three different locations were connected by a new technology known as Internet2. Mr. Symer and approximately twenty students were at the University of Delaware. Oboists from the University of Oklahoma and the New World Symphony were equipped with monitors and microphones which allowed interaction between all three locations. Internet2 is a consortium of over two hundred universities, corporations, and governmental agencies working together to develop the next generation of the internet. I2, as it is also known, operates between 2.4 and 10 gbps. It has CD quality sound and meets the clarity standards for high-defintion television. explains that at current DSL/cable modem speeds it would take twenty-five hours to download the movie The Matrix. With I2, that same download would take a mere thirty seconds. The incredible speed and clarity of I2 transmission creates a new forum for music performance and education. The adjustment seminar is a prime example of how beneficial this technology can be. In addition to the convenience of reaching several groups at the same time, I2 allowed a much closer visual perspective than is possible in person. Cameras mounted above Mr. Symer s work area were able to focus in on minute details such as the amount of play needed in the Fs connector to the top joint. The close-ups were even closer than in real life... joked Mr. Symer, who was also impressed by how non-invasive the supporting technology was. In a recent interview, violinist Mirabai Weismehl described interacting through the technology...like speaking to someone through an open window. However, the technology is still new and there are occasional visual or audio delays. Despite this, the ability of I2 to connect artists to each other and to their audience despite geographical hindrance shows tremendous promise. For example, the oboe Fellows at the New World Symphony were able to have an English horn master class with Thomas Stacy despite the fact that his regular schedule prevented him from traveling to Miami. The speed and clarity of the connection allowed for in-depth discussion of phrasing and tone production. This type of detailed musical scrutiny is typical of the I2 master classes held at the New World Symphony. Coachings have ranged from individual master classes, such as the oboists experienced, to full ensemble coachings in new music with composers such as John Adams and Steve Reich. Composers have not only been able to shape performances of their works, but also to explain their musical intentions to the paying audience. I2 feed can be projected onto a larger than life screen in back of the orchestra. The guest composer and the conductor are able to discuss the work in front of the audience, reacting to the unique circumstances of each concert. Additionally, I2 broadcasts of live rehearsals and performances can bring classical music to areas that do not have the resources available to support a symphony orchestra. For example, a school in a rural area could watch a live concert and then have question and answer sessions with the musicians. These are only two of many possible ways I2 can be utilized, not only to enhance the concert experience, but to create new audiences and a new generation of music enthusiasts. Additional information about this technology, including a list of participating universities, can be found at Demonstrations of its applications in music education and performance can be found at Editor s Note: Karen Birch is an oboe fellow in the New World Symphony in Miami, Florida. She has a BA degree from the Oberlin Conservatory and an MA from the Hartt School of Music.
103 THE DOUBLE REED 101 The Morceaux de concours for Bassoon Since 1984: A Parisian Tradition Continues Jeffrey Lyman Tempe, Arizona As a professor of bassoon who must advise and assist students in writing research papers for the Doctor of Musical Arts degree, I am often asked to name examples of DMA documents that have clearly served the discipline beyond their publication in their respective institutions. One could hardly hope for a more user-friendly or consistently useful reference text for bassoonists than Kristine Fletcher s The Paris Conservatoire and the Contest Solos for Bassoon. 1 The book began as a DMA document when Ms. Fletcher was a student of Ronald Tyree s at the University of Iowa, and it has since taken its place on the bookshelves of thousands of bassoonists around the world. The topic is fascinating, the music infinitely varied, the author s scholarship impeccable and the treatment of the subject is comprehensive. Comprehensive, that is, up to its publication date. Fletcher s text finishes with the contest solo from 1984, Pierre Max Dubois Sonatine-Tango, and surely anyone who has consulted this book must wonder what has been composed since, or even if the annual commissions continue today. Before answering these questions, it may be helpful to give a bit of background on the music and the concours that required their use. According to Fletcher, On completing their course of study, students enter the contest, or concours, held annually for their particular disciplines. They attempt to prove their progress to date by competing for a First Prize. Often, on a professor s recommendation, a student takes part in the contest before the expiration of the course. 2 According to Fletcher, the student has one month to prepare both the new solo (if one has been composed for that year) and a second work (required since 1970). 3 In 1985, the CNSMDP discontinued the annual commissions, and now the commissions occur every few years. During the tenure of director Marc-Olivier Dupin (1993 to 2000), a selection of pieces for various instruments was commissioned from year to year, at the director s discretion. According to Anne Bongrain of the Conservatoire s information department, the director chooses to commission five or six new works by composers; these composers are chosen by himself or suggested by specific professors. Different instruments are chosen each year, with a distinct preference for instruments with limited repertoires. As we want these works to become part of the living repertoire, composers are given the opportunity to beef up the accompaniments by the addition of instruments other than the piano, up to small chamber ensembles. Electronic music can also be included. 4 Ms. Bongrain stated in a more recent communication that as of early 2004, no new commissions are planned for bassoon for the next few years. 5 Today, the annual contests continue, but prizes are no longer awarded. The current professor of German bassoon Marc Trénel relates that, As far as the contests at the end of studies are concerned, they still exist but they have been reformulated: there is no longer a prize with the assignment of a first, second or third prize (the second and third having the possibility of replaying the contest the following year). Instead one speaks now of mention (very good, good or fair) and the students cannot appear again in the next year no matter what the outcome. 6 When it comes to the actual music, it might be argued that for most of their illustrious history, the morceaux de concours of the Paris Conservatoire were, if you ll pardon the pun, conservative. If one considers only those works composed at the end of the 19th century and the turn of the 20th, it would be easy to point to a rather formulaic approach to their composition, one whose simplest incarnation includes a slow introduction followed by a cadenza and a flashy allegro. It is also true that the contest pieces composed during the first decades of the 20th century rarely if ever reflected the trends of the avant garde Parisian musical life of those years. That is certainly not the case with the works composed for bassoon from the 1950 s through today, which run the gamut from traditional tonality through improvisatory music written in spatial notation. Compare the musical language of Alexandre Tansman s Sonatine with that of Roger Boutry s Interférences I, or the sound world of Ginette Keller s Ébauches with Pierre Max Dubois Sonatine-Tango. Variety and originality are especially evident in the five newest works. While two are in the familiar format of bassoon with piano accompaniment, the other three break with tradition completely through the introduction of other instruments. Here then is a list of the contest pieces since , along with the
104 102 THE MORCEAUX DE CONCOURS FOR BASSOON SINCE 1984: A PARISIAN TRADITION CONTINUES additional required works from the standard repertoire that appear on the concours each year. The official commandes of the Conservatoire are listed in bold print, and descriptions of the newest commissioned solos appear after the list. 1986: Michel Philippot ( ), Composition pour bassoon et piano (Éditions Salabert E.A.S , 1986) Antonio Vivaldi. Concerto in c minor. 1994: Renaud Gagneux. Opus 41 for bassoon and clarinet. (Éditions Durand) Camille Saint-Saëns. Sonate pour basson et piano, opus 168. (Éditions Durand) 1995: Tôn-Thât-Tiêt. Jeu des cinq éléments II. (Éditions Jobert) Antonio Vivaldi. Concerto in B flat major, F. VIII No. 24 (Schirmer) 1987: Bruno Bartolozzi. Collage. (Edizioni Suvini Zerboni) Tôn-Thât Tiêt. Jeu des cinq éléments II. (Éditions Jobert) Georg Philipp Telemann. Sonata in f minor. (Éditions Billaudot) 1988: Claude Ballif. Solfegietto. (Éditions Transatlantiques) Carl Maria von Weber. Andante et rondo hongrois. (Éditions Billaudot) Antonio Vivaldi. Concerto in B flat. (RV not specified) 1989: Karlheinz Stockhausen. In Freundschaft. Werk No. 46 3/4 (Stockhausen Verlag) Johann Nepomuk Hummel. Concerto in F major, 2nd and 3rd movements. (Musica Rara) Work of the candidate s choice. 1990: José-Luis Campana (b. 1949), Involtura Sonora pour basson (ou fagotto) et violoncelle (Gérard Billaudot 1990) François Devienne. Sonata in g minor. (Musica Rara) 1991: Tôn-Thât Tiêt. Jeu des cinq éléments II. (Éditions Jobert) Etienne Ozi. Third Sonata. (Éditions Ouvrières) 1992: Martial Solal. Seul contre tous. (Éditions Salabert) Antonio Vivaldi. Concerto in C major, F. VIII No. 13. (Ricordi) 1993: Vincent Persichetti. Parable for solo bassoon. (Elkan-Vogel) Bernard Crusell. Concertino (without the Polonaise). (Fazer) 1996: Claude Pichaureau (b. 1940), Nymphea-Lotus Triptyque pour bassoon avec accompagnement de piano (Éditions Choudens 1996) Etienne Ozi. Second Sonata. (Ricordi) 1997: Philippe Hersant. Hopi pour basson seul. (Éditions Durand) Johann Nepomuk Hummel. Concerto in F major, 2nd and 3rd movements. 1998: Ysang Yun. Monolog. (Bote & Bock) Wolfgang Amadée Mozart. Sonata KV 292 for bassoon and cello. 1999: Alexandre Ouzounoff, NAIROBI, la nuit pour basson et percussion (Éditions Salabert E.A.S , 1999) Franz Berwald. Concert Piece, opus 2. (Musica Rara) 2000: Odette Gartenlaub. Profils pour basson et orchestre. (Éditions Combre) Originally commissioned for the concours in Antonio Vivaldi. Concerto in d minor, F. VIII no. 5 (Editions I.M.C.) 2001: Philippe Hersant. Niggun pour basson seul. (Éditions Durand) François Devienne. Quartet op. 73, no. 3 in g minor for bassoon and string trio. 2002: Yoshihisa Taïra. Monodrame II pour basson seul. (Éditions Musicales Transatlantiques, 1989) François Devienne. Sonata no. 6 in C major for bassoon and basso continuo. 2003: P. Winter. Concerto in c minor. (Editions Joseph ACS) Antonio Vivaldi. Concerto of the candidate s choice.
105 THE DOUBLE REED : Tôn-Thât Tiêt. Jeu des cinq éléments II. (Éditions Jobert) Karlheinz Stockhausen. In Freundschaft. Werk No. 46 3/4 (Stockhausen Verlag) MICHEL PHILIPPOT: COMPOSITION POUR BASSON ET PIANO Michel Philippot was, for much of his career, aligned with the studio and compositional style of Pierre Schaeffer, one of the pioneers of electronic and electro-acoustic music. With this training in mind, it might be unusual to note that when asked to compose a morceaux de concours for bassoon, he composed in the most traditional pairing of all, that of bassoon and piano. Viewed in the greater context of the contest pieces as a whole, the chromatic language that characterizes Philippot s composition is not without precedent, but compared with its immediate predecessor, Dubois Sonatine-Tango, this work signals a stylistic about face. Rather brief and without the overt virtuosity or flashy cadenzas in the traditions of many contest solos, the work is equally (if not particularly) demanding for both the bassoonist and the pianist. As expected in this repertoire, the bassoon part covers the entire range of the instrument, but the real difficulty of this piece is in the precise interaction required of the two players and not in technical display. Gérard Condé notes this property in much of Philippot s work, and likens his music to a subtle play of mirrors, where the elements reflect one another, neglecting the notion of theme and development in favour of the principle of continuous variation and a balance of musical planes, lines and colours. 9 Like the Campana, Gagneux and Ouzounoff works, this is truly a duo, not simply a solo vehicle for bassoon with accompaniment. JOSÉ-LUIS CAMPANA: INVOLTURA SONORA The old traditions of the concours run headlong into the most modern musical experiments in this duo for bassoon and cello, the first work in the entire history of the bassoon morceaux to be composed for anything other than bassoon and piano or bassoon solo. 10 José Luis Campana, who was born in Buenos Aires in 1949, left Argentina in the early 1970 s after completing degrees in both music composition and psychology at the University of Buenos Aires. He continued composition studies in Paris with Betsy Jolas and Ivo Malec, and eventually taught analysis at the Conservatoire. In 1992 he co-founded the ARCEMA (Atelier de Recherche, Création et Enseignement de la Musique Actuelle) at the Université d Orsay in Paris. 11 Involtura Sonora, besides being the first duo contest piece for bassoon and cello, could well be the most difficult of all the bassoon morceaux. It is a thicket of thorny technique, a kaleidoscope of exotic timbres, full of special effects for both soloists. As an example, the first phrase the bassoonist plays is marked son détimbré, transparent, très léger and sans attaque et quasi glissando, and these directions are followed throughout the piece by a glossary of colorful descriptions and by dynamics that range from de rien through fff molto vibrato autant que possible. The composer favors a tonal effect in which the sound of the bassoon is muted through fingering alterations and by pinching the reed, thereby mimicking the sound of a bass clarinet. Other effects include flutter-tonguing, multiphonics, wide tremolos and harmonics. The rhythmic demands are as severe as the tonal and technical demands, and one could hardly imagine the panic felt by those poor students faced with preparing such a duo in the brief period of time allowed by the rules of the concours. An interesting bit of trivia for those bassoonists brave enough to tackle this work can be found between the end of page 5 and the top of page 7 of the duo. The bassoon part on these pages was lifted by the composer and used again at the end of another work, D un geste apprivoisé... for bassoon and compact disc. 12 Both bassoon works were composed for Pascal Gallois, and Involtura Sonora also bears a dedication to the cellist Pierre Strauch. Involtura Sonora has been recorded in a breathtaking performance by cellist Strauch and bassoonist Marc Vallon. The two play this insanely difficult music as if it s the Mozart Sonata for bassoon and cello, with an accuracy and a musicality you will not believe. The recording appears on the Musique Française d Aujourd hui label, under the title Noctal: José Luis Campana. 13 RENAUD GAGNEUX: OPUS 41 Compared with Campana s duo, Renaud Gagneux Opus 41 for clarinet and bassoon is a piece of cake. The work alternates between long lines in rhythmic unison and sections that feature the tone color effect known as bisbigliando. Wind instruments achieve this effect, which in Italian means whispered, by alternating fingerings on a sustained pitch. In this score, the fingerings for these effects are mostly left up to the players. Other effects include multiphonics and slap-tonguing for the clarinet, sons roulés (a specific type of unstable multi-phonic) for the bassoon, and quarter-tones and flutter-tonguing for both. Multiphonic fingerings are provided for the clarinet, but curiously are not given for the bassoon s sons roulés. Some moments of technical virtuosity appear here and there, but the real
106 104 THE MORCEAUX DE CONCOURS FOR BASSOON SINCE 1984: A PARISIAN TRADITION CONTINUES test in this work is whether or not the two players can perform in perfect rhythmic unison. CLAUDE PICHAUREAU: NYMPHEA-LOTUS At first glance, Claude Pichaureau s Nymphea-Lotus looks like a typical recital piece for bassoon and piano, but the subtitle Triptyque concertant: Parade-ouverture, performance, parade finale alludes to certain unique demands placed upon the performers. The pianist enters on stage alone, begins a fanfare and is joined by the bassoonist off-stage or en coulisse. When the bassoonist eventually makes it to the stage, there is a brief cadenza that leads to a humorous allegro in which the pianist closes the lid of the piano and slaps out a percussive accompaniment. The Performance alternates between a mock-serious Andante and a Scherzando peppered with rhythms and harmonies that recall Dave Brubeck s Take Five. The Parade Finale summarizes everything that came before, and closes only after the bassoonist screams out a de rigueur ff high e, then reaches one step further in a final quick run up to high f. ALEXANDRE OUZOUNOFF: NAIROBI, LA NUIT Of all the latest contest pieces for bassoon, this is the only one that follows in the early tradition of having a bassoonist compose the work. Yet that is as far as tradition goes in this rocking duo for bassoon and percussion. It is no surprise to find Alexandre Ouzounoff stretching both the players and the genre in NAIROBI, la nuit, as Ouzounoff himself is not easy to characterize. As a bassoonist he plays everything from the classics to electro-acoustic music, jazz and world music. Many composers have written works specifically for him, several of which are published by Éditions Salabert in the Collection Alexandre Ouzounoff. He is the author of a method text on contemporary techniques titled Actuellement le basson, he is the editor of music by Ozi and Gebauer, and has recorded chamber music by Poulenc and Magnard as a member of the Trio d Anches Ozi. It is this omnivorous musical appetite and his broad experience as a true world musician that shows through in this knockout of a piece. NAIROBI, la nuit pairs the solo bassoon with a percussionist playing temple blocks, tom-toms, bongos, cymbals and vibraphone. It is impossible to pinpoint a style by which to identify the sound of the piece, but as the title suggests, the composer could be recalling some of the music he wrote for his earlier exploration of African musical traditions, his compact disc Made in Nigeria. 14 The bassoonist must be fluent in contemporary techniques, as the work includes brief glissandi, flutter-tonguing (even on a high e!), harmonics and a few multiphonics. The multiphonic fingerings are left for the performer to determine, perhaps because the work was intended for performance on both the French and German fingering systems. The composer s only other nod to tradition appears in the form of the work, which follows the favorite format of the early contest pieces, a slow introduction followed by a virtuoso allegro. The bassoon sings out full-throated calls over an accompaniment of cymbals and tom-toms in the free opening section. The impressive allegro is based upon an increasingly complicated treatment of short melodic ostinati. The fragments are shuffled, expanded and riffed until the bassoon breaks into a rapid-fire assault of triplets over brilliant cymbal strikes. Once the energy is spent, the work closes as it began, with a recollection of the vocalizations of the introduction. With such a broad variety of styles and musical languages represented over almost two hundred years, the morceaux de concours can be counted among the greatest achievements of French musical history and have produced one of the greatest treasure troves of music for bassoon. It is good to see that the tradition continues to this day, despite the fact that we have to wait a few years between each new commande. As long as the music continues to be as interesting as these latest works, we bassoonists should look forward eagerly to the arrival of each new piece. FOOTNOTES 1 Bloomington: Indiana University Press Fletcher Fletcher 41 4 Personal communication from Anne Bongrain to the author, July 22, Personal communication from Anne Bongrain to the author, February 13, En ce qui concerne le concours de fin d études il existe toujours mais il a été remodelé: il ne s agit plus des prix avec l atribution d un premier deuxième et troisième prix (le deuxième et troisième ayant la possibilité de repasser le concours l année suivante). On parle maintenant de mention (très bien, bien ou assez bien) et les étudiants ne peuvent plus se représenter l année suivante quelque soit le résultat. Personal communication from Marc Trénel to the author, January 6, The archivists at the CNSMDP could not find the works for the year 1985 when contacted for this article.
107 THE DOUBLE REED According to Marc Vallon, in 2004 two students performed, Mathieu Moreaud and Antoine Blot. They both got their diploma with mention Tres Bien a l unanimité. Blot played the Tôn-Thât Tiêt Jeu des cinq éléments II and Moreaud played Stockhausen s In Freundschaft. Personal communication from Marc Vallon to the author, March 7, Gérard Condé: Philippot, Michel Paul, Grove Music Online ed. L. Macy (Accessed 2 January 2004), <http: // 10 Remarkably, there is only one unaccompanied work in the entire catalog of bassoon morceaux de concours composed specifically for the event, Pierre Petit s Thème et Variations (Paris: Eschig), the solo from Unaccompanied works have appeared fourteen times since 1985, and include works by Philippe Hersant, Bruno Bartolozzi, Claude Ballif, Vincent Persichetti, Martial Solal, Yoshihisa Taïra, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Ysang Yung and Tôn-Thât Tiêt. 11 Editions Musicales Européenes web site (Accessed 2 January 2004), < emepublish.com/english/ eme111.htm> 12 Paris: Éditions Musicales Européenes 199X? 13 Musique Française d Aujourd hui D SK European Music Production Records EPC 892, At the time of the writing of this article, the complete compact disc is available through www. musiquesindependantes.com or and individual tracks can be downloaded from main
108 106 MUSICAL MUSINGS: PRACTICING WITH THE METRONOME PART III Musical Musings: Practicing with the Metronome Part III Terry B. Ewell Towson University THE METRONOME AS A RECORD OF PROGRESS AND A WAY TO AVOID TEMPO RUT The metronome is an excellent tool to record progress during practicing. Keeping a practice log of tempos will be an important indication of your progress. I encourage you to practice those difficult passages in a range of tempos not just a single tempo. Even when you reach the desired concert tempo it is quite useful to continue to practice slower and faster than the final tempo. Too often if we practice without a metronome we will settle into a single tempo, that is, a tempo rut. This can cause difficulties in concert when performing with others. Rarely will a conductor or colleague settle into your favorite tempo. Flexible musical expression and technique at a range of tempos is necessary to be prepared for all concert situations. A QUIZ OK, let s now test your understanding of how to use the metronome. Here is a passage from Jonathan Leshnoff s Night Whispers, a composition I premiered at the IDRS 2003 conference in Greensboro: Give at least three ways to practice this for rhythmic precision and discuss how you will use the metronome with each practice method. Answers in the next Musical Musings.
109 Gioacchino Rossini: Concerto a Fagotto Principale Daryl Durran Penn State University Last November I received a postcard from the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra advertising the Orchestra s Thanksgiving weekend concerts featuring Nancy Goeres performing the Rossini Bassoon Concerto. My reaction was: What Rossini Concerto? Clearly, I had not been paying attention. With a little investigation, my newfound awareness quickly grew into enthusiasm and a desire to be sure that everyone knows about this wonderful new concerto. FROM DISCOVERY OF THE MANUSCRIPT TO THE FIRST EDITION The central figure responsible for returning the Rossini Concerto to the repertoire is Italian bassoonist Franco Fusi. He reports that his teacher, Sorano Pastori, often spoke of Rossini s concerto and his desire to locate the manuscript. Thus, it was poetic justice that in 1994 Alberto Santi, a student of Fusi, was the one who discovered the manuscript in the Biblioteca Comunale Giuseppe Greggiati in Ostiglia, a small town northeast of Bologna. In 1995 the directors of the Biblioteca granted Fusi exclusive use of the manuscript for two years. Fusi produced editions for bassoon and piano, bassoon and strings, and for bassoon and orchestra (strings with double winds and timpani, which is the instrumentation of the manuscript). Made available in 1998, these editions were acquired primarily by Italian bassoonists. (Fusi s computer-generated editions can still be purchased. His contact information appears at the end of this article.) To Sergio Azzolini goes the considerable credit for working with Hofmeister Musikverlag to produce the first printed edition. THE DOUBLE REED 107 THE CONCERTO From biographical references to the Italian bassoonist Nazzareno Gatti ( ) it has been long believed that Rossini composed a bassoon concerto. This work is reported to have been written as a final examination piece (Concerto da esperimento) for Gatti, a student at the Liceo Musicale de Bologna from 1842 to These dates correspond to the years when Rossini was serving the Liceo as a permanent honorary advisor (consulente perpetuo). There is still some question as to how much of the concerto is actually Rossini s work and whether it is in fact the piece claimed to have been written for Gatti. I ll leave this discussion to the musicologists. What we do have is a fine piece written during Rossini s lifetime that includes the composer s name on the cover page of the manuscript and contains the sounds of Rossini s musical signature. The Concerto is in three movements: Allegro - Bf Major, Largo - C minor, and Rondo - F Major. These movements strike me more as opera scenes than as traditional concerto movements. Judging from the difficulty of the Concerto, Gatti must have been an outstanding student. Employing the full range of the bassoon, low Bf to high D, the work contains both substantial technical and musical demands. The Largo movement offers fabulously expressive music. The Rondo in 6/8, with the classic Italian monferrina dance rhythm, requires blazing technique. Taking the cut shown in the manuscript during the first movement s rather long orchestral introduction is probably a good idea. Also, as presented in the Hofmeister edition, the very end of the Largo movement could stand embellishment. The staves in the manuscript are nearly empty at this point, with nothing written for the soloist. In his editions, Fusi provides a more satisfactory ending to the Largo, while some of the performers listed below have inserted a cadenza at this spot.
110 108 GIOACCHINO ROSSINI: CONCERTO A FAGOTTO PRINCIPALE THE HOFMEISTER EDITION Sergio Azzolini, in collaboration with Günther Angerhöfer, has prepared a beautifully printed bassoon and piano edition of the Concerto. Published by Friedrich Hofmeister Musikverlag (FH 2649) in 2000, the edition s Preface (with an English translation by IDRS Honorary Member William Waterhouse) and Critical Report offer extensive information about the piece. The uncluttered printing is very clear in matters of editorial additions. You can feel good about spending your money on printing of this quality. The orchestral score and parts, also edited by Azzolini, are available for rent from the publisher (FH 8129). Ron Klimko reviewed the bassoon and piano edition in The Double Reed, Vol. 24, No. 2, p. 47. PERFORMANCES Not surprisingly, the first modern performances appear to have been played in Italy. Performances with orchestra include: Sergio Azzolini, August 8, 2000 with the Streicher- Akademie Bozen in Val Gardena; Valentino Zucchiatti, August 31, 2000 with the Orchestra Giovanile ENFAP di Gorizia in Trieste; Diego Chenna (winner of the 1998 IDRS Fernand Gillet Competition), in August 2001 with the Moscow Soloists Orchestra on the Isle of Elba. In the Americas, performances of the Concerto with orchestra include: Steven Dibner, two performances in June 2002 with the Mainly Mozart Festival in San Diego (North American premiere) and in February 2004 with PARLANTE (a chamber orchestra) in San Francisco; John Miller, three performances in April 2004 with the Minnesota Orchestra; Ibby Roberts also in April 2004 with the Waynesboro Community Orchestra (VA); and the previously mentioned performances by Nancy Goeres. To my surprise (and mild chagrin), I have learned that the Rossini has been performed at two IDRS Conferences: Stefano Canuti (with string accompaniment) at Buenos Aries in 2000 and Dean Woody at Greensboro in THE RECORDING In addition to editing and performing the Concerto, Sergio Azzolini has made the only commercial recording available to date. The recording, made in 2000, is with the Streicher-Akademie Bozen, conducted by Georg Egger (Arts ). Although the ensemble s name suggests a string group, the orchestra for this performance matches the instrumentation of the manuscript. Both the performance and the engineering are excellent. Azzolini plays with beautiful expression, nuance, and virtuosity. The performance includes the uncut opening orchestral introduction and the end of the third movement as it is printed in the Hofmeister edition. Azzolini makes a few effective deviations from the printed solo part. Giving this recording to your conductor may help break the tyranny of violin and piano concerto programming and get you to the front of the stage! It is surprising that a terrific new concerto comes to us from a nineteenth-century, brand name composer. For both performance and study, Rossini s Concerto more than deserves a place among concerti by Mozart, Weber, and Hummel. address for Franco Fusi: The author thanks Steven Dibner and Franco Fusi for generously providing information for this article.
111 Quoted Material in the Élégie of Poulenc s Oboe Sonata Andrew Kohn Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania It is well known that Francis Poulenc used musical material in common between his sonatas for flute, for clarinet, and for oboe. However, the opening Élegie of the Oboe Sonata contains many other instances of recycled material which, taken together, form a stern aesthetic argument, though couched in suave urbane phrases. 1 First, the opening two measures are a transposition of the central musical motive of Berg s Wozzeck, the phrase Wir arme leut! ; it seems at first blush that the first eighth note of the original is being treated to a fermata, fig However, Berg is immediately undercut. Not only is the emotionally supercharged atmosphere of the original source FIGURE 1: Wir arme Leut! Motive from Wozzeck, Act 1, m. 136 THE DOUBLE REED 109 completely undone by the character of the oboe in this register, but this transposition enables Poulenc to resolve the harmony smoothly to g major, vitiating the atonality of the original. Moreover, the g major initiates a quote of the first theme of the Stravinsky violin concerto (transposed), fig. 2. Note the melody s turn around the tonic and eventual rise to the dominant and the harmony s combination of mediant and subtonic in repeated eighth notes. In retrospect, it is clear that rhythm of the opening two measures was not of that of Wozzeck plus a fermata, but is adapted from the introduction of the Stravinsky (note that oboists often lengthen the opening half note: Pierre Pierlôt, for example, by an eighth note). 3 Possibly Poulenc is even retrograding Stravinsky s durations of quarter notes (counting between attack points). This opening paragraph of the sonata contains a further reference to the violin concerto as well: the slur beginning at the end of measure 12 is a reworking of a canonic theme from later in the Stravinsky, fig. 3. FIGURE 2: Stravinsky Violin Concerto (Condensed and with Piano Reduction), Opening
112 110 QUOTED MATERIAL IN THE ÉLÉGIE OF POULENC S OBOE SONATA FIGURE 3: Stravinsky Violin Concerto, 1 m. Before Rehearsal 24, Violin Rehearsal 4 is a bit of a puzzle. It sounds like a Stravinsky theme, but where is it from? This is possibly an adaptation of the opening of the Sérénade en La, with its theme spanning a perfect fourth divided by a third and semitones in the accompaniment, fig. 4; it also shares characteristics with the opening movement of the Symphony in C, in particular repetition and the intensive use of a similar motivic cell (along with instrumentation), fig. 5. FIGURE 4: Stravinsky Sérénade en La, mm. 3-6 FIGURE 5: Stravinsky Symphony in C, Oboe Theme, Rehearsal 5 At rehearsal 6 we see a quote from Poulenc s own Sonata for Two Pianos, fig FIGURE 6: Poulenc Sonata for Two Pianos, Mvt. 3, 5th measure after Rehearsal 4, Piano 1
113 Moreover, this is not Poulenc s only instance of dipping back into this earlier piece for the final woodwind sonatas. The opening of the Flute Sonata is also taken from the two piano sonata, fig. 7. THE DOUBLE REED 111 FIGURE 7: Sonata for Two Pianos, Opening of Second Movement, Condensed Finally, the opening of the last movement of the Oboe Sonata is taken from the same work, fig. 8. FIGURE 8: Poulenc Sonata for Two Pianos, Mvt. 1, Rehearsal 4, Piano 1 However, is this last theme original? It bears a remarkable resemblance to a theme from Stravinsky s Les Noces, fig. 9. FIGURE 9: Stravinsky Les Noces, Rehearsal 21, Tenor Melody
114 112 QUOTED MATERIAL IN THE ÉLÉGIE OF POULENC S OBOE SONATA Rehearsal 7 also sounds like quoted material, possibly aluding to Debussy s Children s Corner, where he famously transforms Tristan und Isolde, an important precedent for Poulenc s treatment of Berg, fig. 10. Cédez a Tempo avec une grande émotion FIGURE 10: Debussy, Golliwogg s Cake Walk, mm At rehearsal 8, Poulenc is reworking woodwind music from Stravinsky s The Rite of Spring, fig. 11. FIGURE 11: Stravinsky, The Rite of Spring, Ending with Downbeat of Dance to the Glorified One, Condensed from the Two-Piano Version
115 At rehearsal 12 Poulenc uses the ostinato from the close of the first movement of Stravinsky s Capriccio, fig. 12. THE DOUBLE REED 113 FIGURE 12: Stravinsky, Capriccio, First Movement, Ostinato at Rehearsal 33 Finally, Poulenc constructs his closing six measures from the opening Wozzeck leitmotif, reworked as a complex harmony embodying both the original version, transposed to g minor, and its inversion, fig. 13. FIGURE 13: Derivation of Conclusion of Poulenc, First Movement The aesthetic argument behind this construction is two fold. First of all, Poulenc is holding up two models for expression in the twentieth century: Berg s expressionism and Stravinsky s neoclassicism. Berg not only loses, he loses utterly, is stripped of his aesthetic and is transformed and absorbed into Poulenc s preferred model in order to be of appropriate use. This strategy is poles apart from the literary theory of Harold Bloom and the idea of the so-called inferior ancestor, a model which has gotten a great deal of attention among musicologists lately. 5 Rather, this bears out a model put forth by literary critic Michael André Bernstein: Poulenc is selecting his artistic lineage, constructing his story of the true development of music, and declaring himself part of the authoritative line of composers by embodying his claims within his art -- in this case, by quotation. 6 Second, Poulenc s use of material lifts that material above the normal plane. The use of the opening of the Stravinsky Violin Concerto lifts the material from its context and declares it a symbol: the type or model of opening a major abstract multimovement composition. The ostinato from the Capriccio becomes not merely one possible cadential device among many but rather the quintessential cadential device, indivisible, monolithic. Even the Wozzeck motive is lifted above its lofty status as the embodiment of what has been called the greatest opera of the twentieth century: through quotation, it has become the archetype of the unifying motto, spanning decades and styles in a way the original could not. This point is emphasized by the motto s use as a framing device, a role it
116 114 QUOTED MATERIAL IN THE ÉLÉGIE OF POULENC S OBOE SONATA does not take in the opera but which is surely an apt one for a unifying motive. Quotation lifts material into the realm of the symbolic, the ideal, even to the level of fetish. 7 Poulenc did not plan for the Oboe Sonata to be his last composition. In fact, he had planned to add a Bassoon Sonata to the other three woodwind sonatas and to the earlier Élégie for horn and piano, creating a set for the members of the woodwind quintet. Yet this Élégie is a fitting conclusion to Poulenc s catalog, setting forth in tones what he had said shortly before his death: I consider myself a son, the type of son he would certainly disown, but in fact a spiritual son of Stravinsky. 8 ENDNOTES 1. It is assumed the reader has the score to the Poulenc at hand. 2. For the significance of this figure, see George Perle, The Operas of Alban Berg: Wozzeck (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1980), and Janet Schmalfeldt, Berg s Wozzeck: Harmonic Language and Dramatic Design (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1983), Pierre Pierlôt and Jacques Fevrier, Nonesuch H Keith W. Daniel, Poulenc s Choral Works with Orchestra, in Sidney Buckland and Myriam Chimènes, eds., Francis Poulenc: Music, Art and Literature (Aldershot: Ashgate, 1999), 82. It is conceivable that this reuse of the earlier sonata is behind the dedication of the oboe sonata to Prokofieff, who died in 1953, the year the Sonata for Two Pianos was written. 5. The primary instance is Joseph Straus, Remaking the Past: Musical Modernism and the Influence of the Tonal System (Cambridge, Mass. & London: Harvard University Press, 1990). 6. Michael André Bernstein, Bringing it All Back Home: Derivations and Quotations in Robert Duncan and the Poundian Tradition (Sagetrieb 1 (1982): ) and Robert Duncan: Talent and the Individual Tradition (Sagetrieb 4/2-3 (1985): ). 7. This idea is indebted to Thomas B. Hess s discussion of Pieter de Hooch in Abstract Painting: Background and American Phase (New York: Viking, 1951), Poulenc, assembled by Stéphane Audel, trans. James Harding: My Friends and Myself (London: Dobson, 1978): 135. PERMISSIONS Berg Wozzeck 1931 by Universal Edition A. G., Vienna. English translation 1952 by Alfred A. Kalmus, London W. 1. renewed. All Rights Reserved. Used by permission of European American Music Distributors LLC, sole US and Canadian agent for Universal Edition A.G., Vienna. Stravinsky Symphony in C 1948 by Schott & Co. Ltd., London. renewed. All Rights Reserved. Used by permission of European American Music Distributors LLC, sole US and Canadian agent for Schott Musik International. Stravinsky Capriccio Copyright 1930 by Hawkes & Son (London) Ltd. Copyright Renewed. Revised Version Copyright 1952 by Hawkes & Son (London) Ltd. Copyright Renewed. Reprinted by permission of Boosey & Hawkes, Inc. Poulenc Sonata for Two Pianos 1948 Éditions Max Eschig. All rights reserved. Used by permission of BMG Inc., sole US and Canadian agent for Max Eschig.
117 Interview with Joanne Cannon of the Bent Leather Band Terry B. Ewell Towson University THE DOUBLE REED 115 One of the exceptional treats of the conference in Melbourne was seeing and hearing the Bent Leather Band with members Joanne Cannon and Stuart Favilla. The initial visual impact of the ensemble instruments is extraordinary. These are instruments that would be at home in a Dr. Seuss book. The sight of the instruments exotic leather curves and integration with technology leaves one spellbound. The ear is enticed with kaleidoscopic sounds from these fanciful and stunning instruments. Ms. Cannon has been kind enough to share with me a copy of the Bent Leather Band s CD The Other Side of Nostalgia. The artistic statements made by Ms. Cannon and Mr. Favilla are varied, interesting, and mature. Should you purchase this CD, it may be one of the most unusual and interesting in your collection. The eight tracks of the recording often defy description: explorations of harp or piano like sounds (Wild, track 1, Free Lunch, track 8); what sounds like a New Year s Eve party gone wild with lots of horn noises, banging of instruments, and the pleasure of noise making and frivolity (The Other Side of Nostalgia, track 2); a more traditional easy jazz feel with the bassoon accompanied by the light-harp (Gaslight Serenade, track 3); and the otherworldly sci-fi effects of glissandi (Candlelit, track 5), whalelike noises (Free Lunch, track 8), and a panoply of other aural treasures. The Bent Leather Band puts forth an attractive variety of music that exhibits the full potential of their new (and old) instruments. Truffles and Foie Gras (track 7 on the CD) is an unusual study of the acoustic potential of the German system bassoon. The fast outer sections of the work feature rapid 16ths interspersed with flutter-tongued notes, trills, multiphonics, overtones, and tongue slaps. I found exceptionally appealing the middle rubato section of the composition. It is a beautiful combination of lyric bassoon writing with artfully placed multiphonics. Not possessing a good fluttertongue I am considering programming just the rubato section as a recital piece on its own. The recording amply demonstrates Ms. Cannon s fine abilities as a composer and performer. Of additional interest to bassoonists is the continuing research project by Ms. Cannon on bassoon multiphonics. I hope that her research will be available to us soon. Further information on the Bent Leather Band s instruments and activities may be found on: FIGURE 1. Bent Leather Band: Joanne Cannon and Stuart Favilla. Photo by Philip Kuruvita, In the presentation at the IDRS Melbourne conference Ms. Cannon presented an articulate discussion of the instruments, the technology, and the artistic views of the ensemble. As you will discover below, Ms. Cannon is a philosopher-musician who merits serious attention. TBE. Terry Ewell (TE): Please give us a short history of Bent Leather Band s musical explorations to find an artistic voice. Joanne Cannon (JC): My own personal development began with playing the bassoon as a teenager. I began my professional orchestral career when I was seventeen. After 5 years I felt that I really needed a change in career. I grew up in Sydney in the late 1970s to early 1980s watching my older brother Herb play trombone with Australia s only full-time professional big band, The Daily Wilson Big Band. They had disco lights, long hair, tobacco company sponsorship, Maynard Ferguson arrangements and even a tour to the Soviet Union. All of this must
118 116 INTERVIEW WITH JOANNE CANNON OF THE BENT LEATHER BAND have made a big impression on me because after 5 years as a professional orchestral bassoonist, I left Sydney and the Orchestra to learn Jazz and improvisation at the Victorian College of the Arts in Melbourne. During these student days in the late 1980s to early 1990s I met Stuart. Also I discovered synthesizers, effects machines, electronic music and studio tape composition. I realized that there were a lot of ways one could go about playing improvised music other than playing jazz. The Bent Leather Band is a more recent project with Stuart and has been running for about four years. Before we did this we were both involved in other improvisation groups that became difficult to manage both artistically and financially. As a married couple Stuart and I discovered that when you work in an ensemble with other creative musicians, the couple in the group is nearly always perceived as a voting block in political terms. Stuart and I also wanted to start a new improvised music project combining sound-processing technology and instrument building with virtuosic playing. In this technical area, the music can develop a new extended language. Pitch for example can be minutely controlled to explore microtonality, or wild continuous portamenti amongst thousands of other possible languages. The technology can do a lot, but the instrument has to be developed with the musical language to make it really work. The Bent Leather Band is committed to exploring this frontier. This was an exciting idea, especially because Australia s experimental improvised music scene is most of the time either Rock or Jazz in disguise. We were beginning to notice this undercurrent in a lot of new music. The other thing that is here and everywhere else, is a new age ambient music activity. This was also something we wanted to get away from, in a technical and instrument making sense, because it doesn t seem to be about really playing music. It feels like a decorative media, a subset of architecture. In order to find our artistic voice, we have had to develop many new ideas and techniques. When you see us play, first of all you will notice our instruments. It s not everyday you see a fantastic leather light harp with light-sensing strings, or an electric leather contra-bassoon that looks more like a maneating plant crossed with a vintage motorcycle. There is also a lot of other technology not visible to the audience. These are the laptop computer, the synthesizers, mixers and the all-important software we developed, to make the instruments work. This is usually off stage and sometimes looked after by an audio technician. FIGURE 2. Stuart Favilla with Leather LightHarp. Photo by Joanne Cannon, experimenting with amplifying the bassoon, using effects machines and composing weird, abstract music in the studio. All of this contributed to a desire to do things another way. I guess we were looking for an elegant way to play and present electronic music with acoustic instruments in a live performance setting. We were also very keen for the audience to make a connection (especially with the electronic music) between our gestures and the resulting music. Over the years Stuart and I tried different approaches, however we were not really satisfied with the results we had achieved or with other things that we had seen both in Australia and overseas. It seemed that the best way forward was to build new instruments. T.E.: How has your experience as a bassoonist directed the development of your instruments? T.E.: How did you become interested in developing your own instruments? J.C.: We started experimenting with new instruments years ago, it more or less came out of an idea to make dancedirected music. I had done a lot of ballet and other forms of dance throughout my youth/teenage years and was missing it. Stuart had an idea to use light sensors and together we made a rudimentary light-harp for dancing. We did a few performances at College and in the Melbourne scene. At this time I was also FIGURE 3. Serpentine Bassoon. Photo by Philip Kuruvita, 2002.
119 THE DOUBLE REED 117 J.C.: My experience amplifying the bassoon taught me a lot about the instrument in regard to its unique sound quality and other things it can do. Microphones pick up an enormous amount of detailed sound that cannot necessarily be heard when played acoustically. This detail can also be enhanced using an audio compressor. Amplification enhances the bassoon s sound and extends it beyond pitch into a timbre and percussive world as well. There are quite a lot of extended techniques that can be played on bassoon. For example key clacks, reed kissing (ingressive breathing), singing and playing simultaneously through the instrument, multiphonics, etc. to mention but a few. I feel that in a musical sense, these ideas are brought to the fore when amplified. Many of these techniques such as reed kissing are very intuitive to double reed playing and most players have probably experimented with them at some time or another. Recently, I was disappointed to hear a bassoonist declare that reed kissing was his own original invention. The same musician obviously had not heard of either Bartolozzi or Penazzi. Using pick-ups and amplifying the bassoon also allows you to use effect machines and computer sound processing techniques. When I first started doing this, I used MIDI to control effect machines while I played live with either foot controllers or computer sequences of MIDI data. The potential for developing the instrument/repertoire/music with effect machines is huge. However, there are a number of problems I feel need to be solved by musicians first. The bassoon, like the other western single and double reed instruments, is bristling with key-work. This is great for producing a controllable equally tempered or quartertone pitch range and multiphonics. However, when you try to attach controllers to the instrument, for computer and effect machine processing, there is no space and no spare fingers to play them. Foot controllers are very difficult to learn to play with virtuosity due to the cognitive limits of the human brain and the transmission of messages throughout the nervous system to and from our feet. Additionally, I was also influenced by my experience playing the zurna and shanai. If you are not familiar with zurnas (from Turkey) and shanai (from North India), these are eastern open hole oboe instruments. The shanai is played with a thick cane style of double reed while the zurna has a thick oboe-like reed and is often played with a split plastic drinking straw. Both of the instruments can make an incredibly loud sound. The zurna also makes a great sound with a modified bassoon reed. Here are two websites that give sound files: and shahnai.html. Firstly if you have ever played one of these eastern oboes (the duduk, for example) you will understand that a compact, open-hole instrument, lets you play really fast and intricately. If you find this hard to believe look at baroque recorder music. I found these open holed instruments great fun to play. Bending, half-holing and also the feel of the vibration is a world apart compared to operating a 15cm long lever on a key, covering a hole on the other side of the instrument. FIGURE 4. Thumb Joystick. Photo by Philip Kuruvita, The Eastern instruments also make good use of the strong fingers: the first three fingers on each hand. The musical traditions associated with these eastern instruments are also quite amazing. Detailed and complex languages of ornamentation form a basis of musical expression. This musical approach is in great contrast with our western perception of music; where pitch, timbre, dynamics and rhythm are reduced to discrete parameters. The influence of these experiences and ideas brought me to make a new bassoon with open holes and electronic sensors/controllers that were all playable by the strong fingers. This would make it easier to learn and to develop new technique. Also, I did not want to remake or replace the existing bassoon, but rather make an experimental new instrument, to take the bassoonist into the world of electronic music. Making a new instrument was not easy. All of that elaborate key-work on the bassoon makes it possible to stretch your fingers over a 2.4 meter tube. Coming up with a solution for compact tube design is hard. A number of long tube reed instruments have been made using glass including Lindsay Pollack s bass clarinet. The glass tube is bent and folded, allowing hands to be positioned to cover holes over doubled and tripled sections of the tube. Glass however, is very fragile. This is what attracted me to work with Garry Greenwood, who is a leather artist in Tasmania. Garry had already made a number of leather saxophones and clarinets. After talking to Garry about the project, he went and made a number of long
120 118 INTERVIEW WITH JOANNE CANNON OF THE BENT LEATHER BAND conical tubes from leather. These tubes start off as one side of polished leather and remain flexible and soft until covered by another piece or sections of leather, which are then glued together. The soft flexible tube can be curved into many shapes giving you the opportunity to discover a playable instrument. After the next layer of leather is applied and glued, the tube becomes rigid (slightly flexible yet very strong) and durable. The leather is then stained, dyed and French-polished to achieve that stunning look in all of Garry s work. Over the past four years Garry, Stuart and I have made two electronic bassoon instruments: The Serpentine-Bassoon; a 2.4 meter leather serpent, and the Contra-Monster; a 3.6 meter hybrid contrabassoon. The Serpentine Bassoon has a combination of open holes and sensors; the Contra Monster has no open holes. The Monster is purely a sensorcontrolled instrument, with 15 sensors offering the player up to ten channels of simultaneous control. FIGURE 5. Serpentine Bassoon (bottom left) and Contramonster (top), photo by Joanne Cannon, 2004 T.E.: How would you characterize the music on your Bent Leather Band Album (The Other Side of Nostalgia)? J.C.: The Other Side of Nostalgia is the Bent Leather Band s first CD release. The CD features improvised works for leather instruments, bassoon and interactive computer algorithms and also a recording of one of my compositions for solo bassoon titled Truffles and Foie Gras. In our first CD we wanted to exhibit our musical influences and also our live sound. The entire CD was recorded live to multi-track in order to capture this live essence of our music. The CD was also recorded over a period of a few weeks in order to capture a snapshot in time of our development. The music is free improvisation, and relates strongly to Percy Grainger s free music in terms of its language and conception. In addition to Grainger, these people have also inspired our music making; Bruno Bartolozzi (New Sounds for Woodwind), Milton Babbitt (RCA Synth), Derek Bailey (MIA), Anthony Braxton (selected works), Cornelius Cardew (Scratch Music), John Coltrane (late free playing), Daniel Kinetzy (Computer Sax), Hugh LeCaine (Sackbut), Max Mathews (Score following for Radio Drum), Harry Partch (tuning systems and folk music), Sergio Penazzi (bassoon techniques), Oska Sala (Mixtur Trautonium), L. Subramanium (Gamaka and Raga), Karlheinz Stockhausen (Cosmic Music and game pieces), and Xiannis Xenakis (UPIC studio and works). The CD and music is reactionary to a lot of current computer music which we feel is underpinned by the new technologies sound and interface and not the artist or musicians own voice. As live instrumental musicians we are anti disk jockey and have never been that impressed with the idea of mixing two separate sampled loops together to make a re-constituted postmodern mantra. We also felt that there was not much point in trying to come up with the new music thing. The album was about playing and reflected our tastes in some of the older modernist musicians, so we defined it as nostalgic music. Since nostalgia is also a cultural phenomenon encompassing haircuts, fashion, retro audio loops and lo-fi, we felt it was necessary to define our music as other-side of nostalgic. T.E.: Could you detail the types of electronic amplification you use for your instruments? I use condenser microphones on my leather instruments. After experimenting with different microphones, I found that a good quality miniature condenser microphone will always give a clear FIGURE 6. Bent Leather Band Logo
121 THE DOUBLE REED 119 and accurate reproduction of the sound with the highest signal to noise ratio. Balanced connections, reliable phantom power, EQ and compression are also essential issues worth looking at in order to improve the overall quality of the sound, probably more so than choosing any particular brand of microphone. I use AKG bugs; the C417 lapel microphone is one of the cheapest and most versatile of their miniature condenser range. Music stores don t usually stock it because it is designed for broadcast media, as a microphone to pick up speech (worn on the lapel or collar). However, I found it to perform the same as any of the other musical instrument microphones, it uses after all, the same components and microphone capsule. The other microphones have useful clips and gooseneck attachments and these microphones include the models C419 and C418. The plug end of this AKG microphone (called an MPA III micro phantom power adapter) can also be purchased from AKG as a replacement part and used to connect other microphone capsules such as the $2.00 condenser microphone capsules from electronics parts stores. These units I have sound fantastic and this process can save a few hundred dollars if budget is a consideration. Of course, you have to know how to use a soldering iron but if you can make bassoon/oboe reeds, using a soldering iron is a cinch. Both the serpent and the contra monster are amplified at both ends. One microphone over the bell and another on the instrument tube just below the crook. This technique picks up a balanced sound, singing, kissing and finger taps, slaps, are all picked up too. The aim of this close micing technique is to maximize the instrument s sound and to minimize any acoustic feedback through the PA speaker system. It is intentionally an artificial reproduction of the instrument s acoustic sound; a reproduction then transformed by effect machines and computer processing. When recording the bassoon, I use a completely different approach. I am aiming to record what I play and how it sounds in the room. For this I use two sensitive large diaphragm condenser microphones mounted on stands; one microphone about 3 feet above the bell and another out in front facing the instrument, which is also about three to four feet away. Recording the bassoon is really difficult because the sound jets out from the holes in all sorts of weird trajectories making it nearly impossible to get an even sound with a microphone up close, multiple microphones won t help either. If the room that you are using is good, you can increase the distance of the two microphones from the instrument to even out the sound but you will get more of the room sound in your mix, which is not always desirable. Large diaphragm condenser microphones are sensitive and expensive. I have a pair of Rode NT1s which are extremely good quality at the budget entry level ($400-$500 per microphone!). For recording you can always hire some Neumans, AKGs etc otherwise there are many other microphones that can do the job. At the gig, the AKG dynamic bass drum egg microphone on the bell and a directional condenser microphone pointing at the key-work is a great combination or a bug on the bell and dynamic instrument microphone aimed at the key-work works well. Lately though, I have been taking the NT1s to the gig as well. T.E.: Could you detail the computer enhancements and computer software you use on your recording? J.C.: I have experimented with a few effect machines over the years. When I first became interested in working with effects machines there were only a few that allowed any of their parameters to be controlled in realtime (usually via MIDI). Also, delays were limited to about 2 seconds only. Audio delays are important for generating other parts out of what you play so 2 seconds was pretty limiting. Now I use a laptop, audio interface and the MaxMSP software from Cycling74. The MaxMSP program is a graphic computer language that allows you to build your own software for music performance. We have created our own software that lets you interface your instruments sensors to control audio effects objects. We have also built programs that let you import digital audio plug-ins from Steinberg s popular VST programs such as Cubase and Nuendo. These days there are software versions of machines I used before and thousands of other plugins that people have created in this VST format available on the Internet as shareware and freeware. It means that you still have effects machines, but they now live inside your laptop and not a huge rack-case that you have to worry about falling off the plane. The types of effects we create and use with MaxMSP include pitch-shifters, delays, spatial effects, flangers, filters, comb-filters, various types of distortion, granular effects, real-time samplers, software synths and tuning-system effects. Within the max software programming you can map your controllers and sensors in various ways. Re-scaling the data over the effect parameter s range is an essential technique and also subprograms can be inserted to wait for a specific controller value; turning a sensor into a drum-pad or switch you can use to activate another section of a work etc.
122 120 INTERVIEW WITH JOANNE CANNON OF THE BENT LEATHER BAND T.E.: The tracks with bassoon in your album make use of multiphonics and overtones. Please describe your interest in these extended techniques. J.C.: Truffles and Foie Gras is the main piece on the album that uses multiphonics etc. I have been interested in multiphonics for a long time. Compared with the other woodwind instruments, I feel that the bassoon will prove to be the undisputed king of multiphonics since the striking reed and impedance setup of the instrument gives it more scope for the production of complex multiphonics. Also because the instrument is low, the voicing of the individual chord tones fall within the standard choral range. This makes it easier to hear these complex, rich and beautiful chords. My interest in extended techniques grew as I shifted from the orchestra and became more interested in improvising. In improvisation there are no limits on how far and which direction you can develop your technique. There are many music traditions in the world where improvisation is the musical and artistic core. Jazz is an excellent example. Improvised music focuses on individual expression and improvisers spend a lifetime searching for their own individual sound. Contributions of creativity and personality are expected. This is in stark contrast to playing in an orchestra, where the focus is blending in with the section and responding to the conductor. Deciding to be an improviser, I felt that it was necessary to fully explore as much of the instrument as possible. This led me to discover Bruno Bartolozzi s book New Sounds for Woodwinds. It was great to see transcriptions and notations of multiphonics but I was also surprised to see so few multiphonics for bassoon listed in what is still regarded today by most composers and players as the definitive source on the topic. My interest in multiphonics has continued to grow. Now I am working on a project aimed at creating an online database for composers, teachers and performers. The web database will present accurate transcriptions, solutions for their notation, finger-chart pedagogic representations, audio files and repertoire. It remains an exciting research area, full of challenges, but it has to be done for the bassoon to develop. I had a great let down after the IDRS conference in Melbourne. I was disappointed that so few bassoonists were interested in the development of the instrument and could not see a pathway beyond or outside the orchestra. It was also interesting that quite a few musicians I spoke to commented on the decline of audiences for concert music in their parts of the world. A double reed composer from Chicago posited that maybe the age of large-scale orchestral concert music had perhaps peaked, and was now in decline throughout the world. If this is indeed true, how long can bassoonists keep their heads buried in the sand? Is the future of the instrument tied inexorably to the fortunes of the orchestras? I don t believe so. I think it is an instrument with enormous potential and this potential remains untapped! T.E.: What venues do you find in Australia for your music? Where do you think your music is best received? J.C.: The music of the Bent Leather Band crosses over into quite a few areas. We play around the country and have been overseas a few times. I cannot explain why or how but our music in all of its bizarre and raucous complexity really hits the mark with a general audience. We get people from all ages and backgrounds inquiring and interested in what we are trying to do. I guess there is a lot of detail in our music and perhaps the audience appreciates this much as they would the sound effects in a Lucas film. I am not yet altogether sure what it is exactly, but the audience seems to make a connection with us. In addition to music festivals and events, we have been presented in the following forums; experimental music, computer music, instrumentmaking conventions and festivals, multi-media and electronic arts events, improvisation festivals and events, major and minor Arts festivals, theatre events and more. We keep pretty busy and usually play at decent chamber venues that would seat a general audience numbering typically between The instruments themselves are sometimes exhibited at festivals where we would also be scheduled to perform a concert or two each day.
123 Thoughts and Strategies for Bassoon Vibrato Michael Burns Greensboro, North Carolina THE DOUBLE REED 121 This article had its beginnings as a handout for a session on vibrato for my bassoon repertoire class at UNCG. As I began research and gathering my own thoughts on the topic I discovered that it has not been dealt with very extensively or recently in The Double Reed. Perhaps this is due to the fact that vibrato on the bassoon (or oboe, or any wind instrument) is a somewhat contentious issue. I would therefore like to share some of my own personal thoughts on this topic along with some strategies and exercises aimed at helping to learn and control this technique. Vibrato is defined in the New Grove Dictionary as: A regular fluctuation of pitch or intensity (or both), either more or less pronounced and more or less rapid 1. WHAT IS IT ON THE BASSOON? Pitch Oscillation, Volume Oscillation, or Both (a combination)? Pitch oscillation is when a note is made sharper or flatter alternating with the in-tune pitch. If this approach is taken then there are additional questions relating to the relationship to the starting pitch. See the diagram below: 1. at pitch and oscillating below 2. at pitch oscillating the same amount above and below 3. at pitch oscillating above In terms of pitch oscillation I advocate type 1. above as I believe that the ear hears the highest pitch as the primary note. This is also how many excellent string players do vibrato (although some also oscillate equally above and below). Volume or intensity vibrato is when a note is supposed to stay at the same pitch but alternate LOUD-soft-LOUD-soft- LOUD-soft, etc. I believe that this is done in combination with some pitch change. Another argument for going to the pitch below the note is that this can coincide with the softer volume oscillations as a slight relaxation of the sound. WHAT PART(S) OF THE BODY CREATE IT? Abdomen, Diaphragm, Throat, Lips, Jaw, Larynx, or a combination? There are proponents of each of the above locations. Most American bassoonists say that they use diaphragm (medically impossible), abdomen, or larynx or a combination of the last two. English and French players (and some German) often advocate lip and jaw vibrato. Chris Weait s Fluorographic study 2 shows NO motion of the diaphragm and suggested that the larynx or vocal cords may be responsible for the oscillation. The diaphragm in fact cannot produce vibrato as it is an inhale only muscle all muscles work in only one direction and are usually opposed by a muscle that works in the opposite direction (e.g. there is one set of muscles (the biceps) to raise your arm and another set (the triceps) to lower it.) Therefore, I feel that in most instances that people cite a diaphragm vibrato they probably
124 122 THOUGHTS AND STRATEGIES FOR BASSOON VIBRATO mean an abdominal vibrato. Furthermore, I believe that a slow vibrato is often abdominal but that it travels up to the larynx as the speed increases. This results in a very vocal quality to the vibrato. Video evidence from inside the throat while playing definitely shows the larynx in motion when producing vibrato. Some argue that the vocal cords are just vibrating in sympathy with an oscillation generated from lower down (perhaps the abdomen) and this may be correct. Nonetheless there is very definite oscillation of the larynx and vocal cords during my own vibrato at least. I know this as I have video of the inside of my throat while playing courtesy of a visit to the surgery office of an adult bassoon student of mine, Karol Wolicki, an ear, nose and throat surgeon and IDRS member. Karol made a presentation on these and some other findings at the IDRS 2003 Conference in Greensboro showing some of the video we had recorded. Charles Veazey, the oboe professor at the University of North Texas College of Music, has also done extensive research involving fiber-optic video of the inside of the throat while playing. A further quick word about throat vibrato. The type of vibrato that I refer to as perhaps originating in the larynx is not the same as what some people refer to as throat vibrato. The image many have of throat vibrato is of the nanny goat or Elmer Fudd vibrato that sounds like a rapid series of eh-eh-eh-eh-eh-eh, etc. This seems to be caused by a series of glottal stops of the airstream and I agree that it is generally not a desirable form of vibrato for the bassoon. It IS also produced in the throat but that is, in my opinion, the only similarity with laryngeal vibrato. There is discussion of the issue of From Whence Springs This Vibrato? from an oboist s perspective as the last section of the excellent article Vibrato Awareness in the Double Reed by Geoffrey Burgess. 3 WHEN SHOULD IT BE USED? All of the time, none of the time, or some of the time? If some, then how do we decide when? This is a topic unto itself. I was taught at one point that EVERY note should have vibrato and further, that vibrato was inexorably tied to air support to the point that no vibrato equaled no support. Now I don t agree with this or use it in my playing. There are also those who advocate the use of no vibrato at all sometimes stating that they don t want to use vibrato as it distorts the sound. I must agree that some vibratos do disturb me and that one definition of an oscillation could be thought of as a distortion of a pure tone. However, I feel that a well-modulated and well chosen vibrato can add a lot to a sound. In my opinion, it is a coloristic tool that can be added or not, manipulated at will and used to enhance the music. I do NOT advocate or agree with those who suggest it as a means of disguising poor intonation. As for usage, vibrato is more often used on longer note values than shorter and often a decision should be made about how short a note can be and still sustain a vibrato. To use the Mozart Bassoon Concerto K191 first movement opening as an example most players who use a vibrato would not use it on the dotted eighth and sixteenth notes at the ends of the first two measures, some would have it and others not on the quarter notes at the beginning of the first three measures, but almost all that use vibrato would have it present on the half notes in the first two measures. These are matters of personal taste mostly but also involve what vibrato speed a player likes and can produce. At the tempo that most would play the Mozart concerto then in order to have any oscillation on a note as short as an eighth or especially sixteenth note one would have to have a very rapid vibrato. Even if one could produce a vibrato that fast the decision would need to be made on if they actually wanted to. There are those who feel that notes below a low E on the bassoon should use little to no vibrato because of the already low frequency of the pitches (see the discussion of frequency below.) AMPLITUDE AND FREQUENCY OF THE OSCILLATION Amplitude can also be called depth or width of the vibrato. Frequency is the number of oscillations per second or speed. It is possible to have a slow and wide vibrato, slow and shallow, fast and wide, fast and shallow, etc. I aim to change either or both of these variables to suit the specific character and context of the music. There also seem to be regional or national tendencies in favored vibrato speed and depth. Another factor that I consider is what register am I playing in? If you listen to A graph of vibrato amplitudes
125 THE DOUBLE REED 123 good singers then you may notice that a bass s vibrato tends to be different from a soprano s. Usually a bass sings with a slower and wider vibrato and a soprano sings with a faster and narrower one. This seems to go along with natural acoustic theory as lower pitches are from slower frequencies so a slower vibrato matches it better. Likewise higher pitches are a faster frequency so faster vibrato oscillation matches. This effect is such that when I hear a bass with a fast shallow vibrato or a soprano with a wide slow vibrato I feel less comfortable with their overall sound. Therefore, I actually aim to change my speed and depth at least somewhat according to the register in which I play on the bassoon. I also use vibrato as a tool, in addition to dynamics, to increase or decrease intensity by altering speed and/or amplitude appropriately. The graph on page 2 shows some different types of vibratos with speed measured horizontally and amplitude measured vertically. The types shown are: slow with a large amplitude, fast with a large amplitude, and slow with a small amplitude. TURNING VIBRATO ON AND OFF There are many times when I feel it is appropriate to play with no vibrato. Playing in an ensemble with clarinets and horns who typically use none I often opt to play with no vibrato also in order to blend better. However, when I join flutes and oboes, or string players who are using it I may well join them. If possible making the speed and depth of my vibrato match and blend as well as possible with theirs. It is also something that I will choose to take away or add on a single note at the ends or beginnings of phrases occasionally. In a solo, I may use a type of vibrato designed to make me stand out more from the accompanying texture. It is very important that a player be able to play with no vibrato. Some players cannot turn their vibrato off! To me, this is a problem in that they therefore do not have total control of it. I try to advocate being able to play the same passage with multiple different types of vibrato (e.g. none, slow and wide, fast and narrow, starting with none and adding it, starting with and taking it away, speeding it up or slowing it down along with the phrasing or making individual notes stand out by having none in a context of overall vibrato, etc.) In order to fix a poor vibrato a student may already have I often find that I have to get them to eliminate it totally and play with no vibrato for a period and then rebuild again slowly, consciously and correctly. VIBRATO EXERCISES There are a number of exercises that can be useful in learning to produce or control one s vibrato. My favorites are as follows: 1. Put a metronome on at q = 60. Have the player play a sustained tone at an mp dynamic (I usually have them start on the C in the bass clef staff (C3) as it is such a good, stable note.) Then have them pulse to an f dynamic on each quarter note beat as a sudden spike similar to the heart monitor in a hospital e.g. Then have them pulse each eighth-note, each triplet, and finally each sixteenth-note. Move the metronome up to a higher speed and repeat. Also repeat the exercise on different pitches on the bassoon until the entire range can work. If you wish you can also do quintuplets, sextuplets, etc. Obviously this exercise is actually teaching and training primarily intensity vibrato but I also usually notice an associated pitch change. I also try to have the player notice if the generation is always from the same body part usually it at least begins in the abdominal muscles at the slower speeds but for some (including myself) they feel the movement move upwards in the body with increased speed. Others sometimes cannot easily make the pulsing migrate upwards and can therefore have difficulty reaching or sustaining a faster oscillation speed. To me it makes sense that the large muscles of the abdominal group would have difficulty in moving very rapidly. 2. The Train. In this exercise the player begins a note with a slow oscillation, increases the speed as much as possible and then slows it down again. This is supposed to be similar to a train leaving a station, building up speed and then pulling into the next station, hence the name. It should be within one breath and one sustained note of course and, as with exercise 1. above, the player should then try it on different notes throughout the range of the instrument. 3. Vocally try to produce a vibrato away from the instrument. This is most likely to have a pitch element along with a slight intensity element. Have the player sing a note that they can comfortably sustain a steady pitch on a syllable such as Ahhhh. Again with a metronome have them shift to a syllable like
126 124 THOUGHTS AND STRATEGIES FOR BASSOON VIBRATO an OOOh at each quarter note pulse with a simultaneous slight drop in volume. When successful have them try at different speeds and perhaps different pitches. Then try to achieve the same effect on the bassoon. This should, one imagines, produce a vocal quality in the bassoon vibrato. 4. This exercise was suggested on the idrs-listserve by Martin Bebb of Muskogee, OK and I have adapted it slightly for my own use. Have the player play a sustained tone (again starting on C3 by preference) and then drop the air pressure while maintaining a steady embouchure. As the air pressure decreases, the note should be allowed to drop in volume and pitch until it stops altogether. Once this is achieved, the player is asked to repeat the exercise but before the sound stops they should catch it and bring the air pressure back up to normal regaining the original pitch and volume. Next have them work to control the rate of descent and recovery in pressure so that they are as equal as possible. This should all be at a very slow rate of speed. METRONOMIC VIBRATO The reason that so many of these exercises use a metronome is to help establish control of the vibrato. However, in use a vibrato should NOT be metronomic if possible. After the player has begun to successfully create a vibrato (or perhaps several vibratos) they may start to gravitate towards a personal favorite default speed and amplitude. I try to ensure that I never have an exact measurable number of oscillations per beat of the music rather my vibrato speed will be totally independent of the music tempo. Remember that I also try to change my vibrato to suit the music as stated above so one of these decisions is to ensure that the tempo and vibrato oscillation speed do not interfere with each other. Beginner vibratos often are set at exactly triplets, sixteenths, etc. and the player needs to be gradually weaned away from this tendency otherwise the vibrato often sounds artificial and sometimes labored. The player also needs to learn and practice being able to produce vibrato in all dynamics. These are my own personal views on bassoon vibrato and I hope that they are helpful to some and are not too out there or contentious. ABOUT THE AUTHOR Michael Burns is associate professor of bassoon at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and is a Yamaha Performing Artist. Burns has performed in numerous professional orchestras including the Cincinnati and the New Zealand Symphony Orchestras and played principal in the Midland/Odessa, Richmond and Abilene Symphonies, and the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra. Currently he performs regularly with the North Carolina, Greensboro, and Charlotte Symphony Orchestras. He is also bassoonist in the Eastwind Ensemble and the Cascade Quintet. Burns remains active as a solo and chamber performer with numerous performances at IDRS conventions, recitals and masterclasses throughout North America and the South Pacific. He has recorded for the Centaur, CAP, Telarc, EMI, Klavier, and Mark labels. In summers, Burns is associated with the Eastern Music Festival and the Bands of America Summer Symposium. He is also an active composer with many of his pieces being published by BOCAL Music and frequently performed throughout the country. Burns has published articles and reviews in the Double Reed, the TBA Journal (Texas Bandmasters Association), the NC Music Educator for which he serves as Woodwind Notes Editor, Notes (the journal of the Music Library Association) and on the Yamaha Educator Series online. His mentors include William Winstead, Sherman Walt, Leonard Sharrow, and Colin Hemmingsen. He is archivist for the International Double Reed Society and was co-host for the IDRS 2003 Conference in Greensboro, NC. His website is: < ~mjburns>. BIBLIOGRAPHY: G. Moens-Haenen. vibrato, Grove Music Online ed. L. Macy (Accessed 2 October 2004), Weait, Christopher and John B. Shea. Vibrato: an audio-videofluorographic investigation of a bassoonist Applied Radiology, January/February Burgess, Geoffrey. Vibrato Awareness, Double Reed Vol. 24, No. 4, ENDNOTES 1 G. Moens-Haenen: vibrato, Grove Music Online ed. L. Macy (Accessed 2 October 2004), < grovemusic.com> 2 Weait, Christopher and John B. Shea: Vibrato: an audio-videofluorographic investigation of a bassoonist Applied Radiology, January/February Burgess, Geoffrey: Vibrato Awareness, Double Reed Vol. 24, No. 4, pp
127 THE DOUBLE REED 125 Music Performance: A Synthesis of Multiple Skills (An Alternative Approach in the Preparation of Beginners) Alejandra García-Trabucco, Alejandra Silnik Mendoza, Argentina IT IS RICARDO S FIRST OBOE LESSON. You start from the very beginning: open the oboe case, describe and name the parts, show how to put them together ( careful with this, careful with that ), show where and how the reed goes ( careful!!! ), how to hold, balance, manipulate the prodigious object. Or perhaps you go through a detailed explanation about breathing, surely followed by a precise description of the embouchure You know so many things, there s so much to explain. Ricardo stands there, half fascinated, half terrified, wondering whether he is going to be able to remember the mountain of directions. It s like his life before the oboe were left behind the studio door, as he is meant to handle all brand new information. What about Ricardo s previous experiences? You know he has never played the oboe before but, do you know you can count on some other abilities of his? Those might be: The fine hand motions of a toy ship builder. The movement coordination of an occasional party dancer. The non-verbal communication skills of a mischievous card player. The patience he acquired fishing with dad. The concentration he developed playing tennis. And, back to our specific field, he has been listening to music since before he was born, from where he has learned spontaneously a lot of stuff, which remains unlabelled in his mind. So Ricardo is not as defenseless in front of his oboe as he might seem. He is not blank with his list of do s and do not s. He could possibly browse in his previous experiences to find some clues, and resolve part of the problems of the new situation. of knowledge, surpassing the limits of what is strictly musical. The self body image, the psychophysical capacities, the ability to communicate in a non verbal code, the musical mind, blend together with the specific instrumental technique from the very first moment in a musical performance. From this standpoint, we see performance as a synthesis of abilities coming from different contexts, as shown in Chart 1: Performing Technique: It is our means to dominate the object through which we canalise our musical discourse. Even when the technique of an instrument is a particular procedure in itself, it is made of a number of minor physical actions about which we all have some degree of experience. Familiar actions such as holding, handling, fingering, blowing, are reshaped to fit a new context, but they are still familiar to some extent. The efficient handling of objects has kept ourselves busy since babyhood. Whether it is a spoon or a clarinet, the exploration of objects is an everyday activity for human beings. The type of movements required by the performing technique are particularly refined and precise, though. According to H. Barrett (1978), they respond to verbal commands in the beginning ( keep PERFORMANCE AS A SYNTHESIS OF MULTICONTEXTUAL ABILITIES Performing Technique Psychophysical Development What is required exactly to play the oboe? What actions are involved? Which abilities are required? PERFORMANCE First of all, we should agree that playing an instrument is a complex action, that demands abilities coming from several fields Communication Skills CHART 1 Inner Musical World
128 126 MUSIC PERFORMANCE: A SYNTHESIS OF MULTIPLE SKILLS the fingers close to the keys, give more speed to the air stream ), but as practice continues, movements become increasingly more dependent on proprioception (íbid. pg 52), skipping verbalization. Psychophysical Development: Performing is basically a physical task, in the sense that we hold, blow, manipulate the instrument with our body. Consequently, the level of psychophysical development of a person, that is, body awareness, posture, coordination related to experiences on movement, is reflected in his/her performing products. There is a clear link between muscular tonicity and emotions. Lapiere indicates that the changes of tonicity are the result of a compromise between postural and emotional tensions (1997, pg 90), while Ferguson calls our bodies ambulant autobiographies (1989, pg.29) So, the body of a musician is more than a problem to attend when it aches; it is the instrument that plays the instrument, and it cannot be out of tune with the emotions to be transmitted and the sophisticated movements demanded. Communication Obviously, communication is the main objective of every performance, even the simplest one. Beyond the ability to read, finger and blow music, there appear some questions about: What I want to communicate What I am able to communicate What I cannot communicate but I wish I could What I communicate and I wish I did not. There is something clear here: You can never not communicate. You will always do it, whether it is your pleasure and joy or your fear and inhibitions. This happens in every part of our lives, so we all have an amount of previous experience that can be recalled in performance practice. Inner Musical World All the abilities mentioned above are coordinated by our musical mind.. Anybody living in a certain culture has a musical background acquired spontaneously throughout life, added to whichever musical training experiences he/she might have undertaken. That musical baggage will find its way through the instrument. Every performance, unavoidably, reflects the degree of development of the inner musical world; it is the projection of the integral self in a non verbal code (Gainza, pg 115) The task of the beginner performer will be to progressively put in order and label the musical information that has informally entered his/her ears and, from that point on, develop more refined channels of storing, processing and producing music. From our point of view, the access to this private musical world, both by the student and the teacher, is indispensable for the initial teaching/learning moment. It can be assumed that this happens naturally, but actually, the rigid way in which many instrument lessons are conducted frequently cause students to fence their previous, non systematic music experiences. This barrier that seems to protect the serious music, impoverishes the general results. HOW THE FOUR AREAS INTERACT This complex of musical and non musical abilities is put together all at once in the act of playing. How can it be managed efficiently? Our perspective of excellence in performing is linked to the concept of flowing (Csikszentmihalyi, 1997). It encompasses all those acts in which thought, intention and feeling are focused towards one single goal, with a particular sense of ease. Have you seen a child playing, with total concentration? The world seems to have vanished around him. Isn t that similar to those very best and very few performances you were lucky to attend? With complete confidence, the flowing self makes precise and instantaneous accommodations to the demands of the moment, with very little mental wear off. We all have had flashes of this magical state in the middle of a study session or in a performance, and, certainly, we pursue it as an ideal. To make it possible, we need to reach a state of openness, flexibility and motivation, that will come with a thorough work on our inner self. The state of flowing may be understood as the highest point of Emotional Intelligence (Goleman, 1998). The touchstone of EI is the self awareness of our feelings the moment they are being experienced. This is what makes it possible to express ourselves sincerely exactly what is expected of an artist. Summing up, music performance demands an array of abilities coming from different domains of knowledge, that are put together by our emotional intelligence, which is, in turn, related to our psychophysical equilibrium. Again, life doesn t start for Ricardo the day of his first oboe lesson. A sensitive teacher may find out about his previous experiences in order to recall them at certain points of the learning process and make him feel more confident.
129 THE DOUBLE REED 127 DIDACTIC APPROACH The first step we should take if we are interested in applying some of these ideas is to acknowledge the complexity of music performance beyond the purely technical issues. There is a person behind the oboe and his/her whole life experiences determine his/her way of standing in front of the situation. This person has many skills that are, to some extent, related to the act of playing, and we can make conscious use of them if we are willing to know them or to encourage the student to express them when needed. The technique itself will be benefited, because it is never an isolated issue: it is a part of the whole business. The use of previous experience in order to understand a new situation is a mental tool we use naturally in our every day life. There is not one thing in this world that cannot be approached by using an analogy. Analogies work as bridges between what we know and what we don t know. If we introduce the instrument as just one more object (beautiful, marvelous, sure) that has to be explored and incorporated progressively to our body maps and life schemes, our student will have a better chance to feel confident and let his/her own self flow. For the first encounter with the musical instrument, we recommend to organise a group activity based on exploration of the two main topics for beginners: the relationship between the instrument and the body, and the production of sound. Let us tell you our experience in Mendoza, Argentina, with a group of ten beginners of wind instruments. A Pilot Experience We (Alejandra, body therapist, and Alejandra, too! oboe teacher) gathered ten young students who had chosen wind instruments at the Universidad Nacional de Cuyo, some time before the beginning of the quarter. Some had never had an instrument in their hands, some had very little performance experience. The main objective was to create a preparatory situation, prior to the undertaking of specific instrument lessons, that would put the students in contact with the instrument in a creative context. The activity was organised in two workshops, two and a half hour-long each. We chose two topics: The instrument and our body image The air and the production of sound Following, we describe the first meeting: First Workshop Main statements: The instrument is an object, like others. We get to know objects through our senses. We need to open up our senses to meet our instrument. Objectives: To develop sensitiveness towards different type of objects. To enrich the perception of the own instrument, through creative activities. To start a physical and emotional relationship with the own instrument, based on analogies with familiar objects and familiar situations. Activities: - Sitting in classroom chairs, eyes closed, they manipulate small objects of theirs (pens, glasses, keys). Directions guide thorough exploration of each. - They explore the chair and find different ways of sitting. They discover ways to relate to the chair other than sitting. They deconstruct the situation by creating group sculptures with the chairs and their bodies. - Laying on the floor for a moment, eyes closed, they concentrate on their bodies and how they feel after the experience. 1 - We provide all kinds of familiar objects of medium size. They choose one and explore size, weight, shape, etc. They create brief sketches combining two unrelated objects (i.e.: a baseball bat and a garlic mincer). They imagine which instruments those objects might stand for, and arrange mock performances with them. - After a brief moment of calmness on the floor, we provide tubes and pipes of all sizes and materials (water pipes, cane, a hose, etc.). They explore these hollow objects, looking through them, blowing, etc. Each person picks the pipe that looks like his/her instrument and compare weights, shapes, and other characteristics. - Putting the pipes aside, they are asked to make a gigantic pipe involving all the group. They decide to make two rows, one in front of the other, and
130 128 MUSIC PERFORMANCE: A SYNTHESIS OF MULTIPLE SKILLS bend on top holding arms to make a tunnel. They take turns in going through the tunnel, as if they were the air inside the instrument ( lots of funny situations, too long to describe here). They adapt the shape of the tunnel imitating the bore of different instruments: a flute, a clarinet, a sax. - Floor again, eyes closed, silent inventory of body feelings. We scatter instruments around the room. From their place in the floor they have to spot their own instrument and explore it visually from the distance. Gradually, they approach and look at it from different standpoints. Finally, they are allowed to pick it up and add the rest of the senses to the exploration. They comment how different it feels, after the experiences they have gone through. They discover ways of holding it, of transporting it through the room, of using it for crazy purposes ( what if your oboe becomes an umbrella, and your bassoon a walking stick? ). - In the end, we put together an unusual orchestra and, with the musical backdrop of a recording of Rossini s La Gazza Ladra, we mimic playing loud and soft, fast and slow, dolce and furioso, according to what we hear. CONCLUSIONS The didactic approach we have presented here, is based on the idea of performance as a synthesis of multicontextual skills. Every person has a certain amount of experience in the different areas involved, which can work as a bridge between old and new knowledge. The naturalness with which we interact with familiar objects can be projected, by analogy, to the use of our musical instrument, throughout activities such as the ones described in this work. The analogy is an excellent cognitive tool for a beginner, because it makes links with his/her previous experiences, thus making him/her feel more confident. And confidence is essential in order to communicate creatively from the very beginning. We encourage teachers to provide a place in which beginners can do a general exploration of their chosen instrument and the performance situation. The workshop described above is just an example of what can be done to unleash creativity and motivation around performance. Group activities, when wisely conducted, are excellent means of sharing new experiences and reducing anxiety. With this work, we hope to make a contribution to the demand of an education centred in the full development of the capacities of the performer. ABOUT THE AUTHORS: Alejandra García Trabucco holds a Master in Music degree from the University of Cincinnati (CCM, 92). She plays english horn at the Orquesta Filarmónica de Mendoza, and is oboe professor at the Universidad Nacional de Cuyo, in Mendoza, Argentina. Since 2003 she has been Director of Music Careers in the same University. Alejandra Silnik holds a Master degree in Applied Creativity from the Universidad de Santiago de Compostela, Spain. Her professional training includes Body Dynamics, Eutony, Transpersonal Psychology, and Music Therapeutics. She coordinates workshops in artistic, health and educational institutions. BIBLIOGRAPHY: Alexander, Gerda (1983) La Eutonía. Buenos Aires: Paidós Barrett, H. (1978) The Viola. Alabama: The University of Alabama Press. Clandinin, D. y Connelly, F. (1984) Personal Experience Methods, in Denzin, N. and Lincoln, Y. (Eds.) Handbook of Qualitative Research. California: Sage Publications. Cosachov, M. (1988) Músicos: los mensajeros del sonido. Buenos Aires: Vázquez Mazzini Ed. Csikszentmihalyi, M. (1997) Fluir. Una psicología de la felicidad. Barcelona: Kairós Ferguson, M. (1989) La conspiración de Acuario. Buenos Aires: Troquel-Kairós
131 THE DOUBLE REED 129 Gainza, V. Hemsy de (1982) Aproximación a la Eutonía. Conversaciones con Gerda Alexander. Buenos Aires: Paidós. (2002) Música: Amor y conflicto. Diez estudios sobre psicopedagogía musical. Buenos Aires: Lumen. Kesselman, S.(2003) Música y Eutonía. El cuerpo en estado de arte. Buenos Aires: Lumen.a García Trabucco, A. (2000) Estrategias didácticas para la enseñanza inicial del oboe. Mendoza: Universidad Nacional de Cuyo. (Inéd.) (2004) El oboe, la música y nosotros. Metodología para la enseñanza inicial del oboe. Mendoza: Facultad de Artes y Diseño. Universidad Nacional de Cuyo. Gellatly, A. (1986) La inteligencia hábil. El desarrollo de las capacidades cognitivas. Buenos Aires: Aique. Goleman, D. (1997) La Inteligencia Emocional. Buenos Aires: Vergara. Lapiere, A; Aucouturier, B. (1977) Simbolismo del movimiento. Psicomotricidad y Educación. Barcelona: Ed. Científico- Médica. Nachmanovitch, S. (1991) Free Play. La importancia de la improvisación en la vida y en el arte. Buenos Aires: Planeta. Saltalamacchia, H. (1992) La historia de vida. Puerto Rico: CIJUP. Silnik, M. A. (1999) Incidencia de las Técnicas de Trabajo Corporal Conciente en el desarrollo de la Inteligencia Emocional. Mendoza: Universidad Nacional de Cuyo. (Inéd.) (2002) Eutonía y Creatividad en la Formación de Músicos Profesionales. España: Univ. de Santiago de Compostela. (Inéd.) FOOTNOTES 1 In this workshop we adopt Eutony as our body work frame. A technique developed by Gerda Alexander, it aims to harmonize the whole self through a conscious regulation of the muscular tonicity.
132 130 The Double Reed Vol. 28 No. 2 HAVE A HEART: ONE BASSOONIST S METHOD FOR FINISHING REED TIPS Have a Heart: One Bassoonist s Method for Finishing Reed Tips Adam Schwalje Boulder, Colorado In the finishing process for a reed, there is often no particular method or mechanism for creating the shaping at the tip sometimes known as a thumbnail shape. That shape is shown in Figure 1, and varies from a rounded shape to a pointed one, based on reed style. The following method is one that I developed while teaching reed classes at the University of Colorado at Boulder and the Cincinnati Conservatory Preparatory Department. It is doubtless influenced by those teachers with whom I have studied reedmaking William Winstead, Yoshiyuki Ishikawa, Per Hannevold, Kim Walker, and others and the books and articles I ve read on the subject Skinner, Weait, Eubanks, and Garfield, to name a few. To the best of my knowledge, this method does not duplicate any previous work on the subject. The following method is useful for both parallel and wedge-type reeds (see figure 1), though of course the final measurements will need to be altered based on your reed style. Required tools are: light source, pencil, sharp knife (curved blade is helpful), plaque, flat file (like the Revlon permanent nail file), holding mandrel (if desired), and of course a beautiful, wellformed blank. I usually perform all of the following steps dry, and then fine-tune as necessary after the reed has been soaked. 1. THE W Create a W shape at the tip by scraping in the black areas of Figure 2. These should be semicircles and should not overlap the rails or the middle of the blade. The distance x is variable, based on the desired thumbnail shape and positioning: a sharply angled heart will require a larger distance x. It is very helpful to draw on the reed blade with a pencil, darkening the area you want to scrape. After the pencil marks are gone, repeat drawing / scraping until the desired thinness is reached, or until light shining through the reed clearly shows the semicircular regions. Make sure to look at the scrapings to ensure that they are only coming from the desired location this is where using the curved part of a blade is very useful. At this point, do not worry about smoothing out the transitions that will come at a later step. 2. THE RAILS Scrape the areas indicated in black in Figure 3. The area closer to the tip should be scraped more than the area closer to the back, depending on your Figure 1 Figure 2 Figure 3 initial profile. In order to achieve this, first scrape on the tip side of the white line some number of times. Then, scrape the same number of times over the entire black area. Repeat until the desired thickness has been reached. The distance y is variable based on the distance x and desired tonal characteristics of the reed. It is best to make y only slightly greater than x at first, and refine this distance during play-testing. 3. MIDDLE TIP If Step 1 is followed exactly, there will be an area at the middle of the tip that is still the thickness of the original profile. In order to thin this area, work with the knife in the black area of Figure 4. The knife position
133 should alternate between nearly parallel with the spine and parallel with the tip. If the knife is not very sharp, it will tear the blade at this point. This step will create a shelf at the tip of the reed. Don t worry about this the transition will be smoothed in the next step. THE DOUBLE REED BLENDING There are two areas of the reed at this point that have shelves, or sharp transitions between thicker and thinner areas on the reed. These shelves can be seen in the light as lines between dark and light areas of the reed; they can also be seen by looking at the reed s profile. A side view looks like Figure 5 (for a parallel-scrape reed). Shelves are indicated with arrows. Some reedmakers prefer to leave these shelves in place for their dampening effect. If you do not want to blend these regions, please skip to Step 5. Figure 4 Figure 5 The areas for which the transitions need to be blended are those that were shaved in steps one and three. I learned the method in step a. from Stephen Maxym. a. For the region indicated in black in Figure 6 (sometimes known as the B and C regions of the reed), the bump or shelf can be scraped off with the flat part of a knife. The knife should be placed at approximately a fifteen degree angle with the spine along the yaw axis (this is the axis that is parallel with the reed blade see Figure 7). Along the axis that is perpendicular to the reed surface, or the pitch axis, the knife should be placed at the angle that is desired for the finished reed. This angle will cause the knife to come into contact with the shelf in the black area of Figure 6 before it contacts the tip or the channel of the blade (see Figure 8). For this step, it is important to look for where the shavings are being produced. When the shavings are produced evenly from behind the black area of Figure 6 to the tip, all bumps were removed successfully. b. It is difficult to remove the shelf from the middle of the reed using the method found in the previous step. In order to remove the shelf created by Step 3, shown in the black area of Figure 9, use a flat file placed at the same angle as the knife blade in Figure 6 Figure 7 Figure 9 Figure 8
134 132 HAVE A HEART: ONE BASSOONIST S METHOD FOR FINISHING REED TIPS Figure 8. File gently on the middle of the reed tip until there is no more visible shelf as seen from a side view. 5. At this point, the reed should look approximately like that in Figure 1. It is now time to shave the heart (black area of Figure 10) to the appropriate measurements. These measurements will differ based on your reed style; however, it is common that the heart is left much too thick. 6. After soaking, you may find that the very tip is too thick all the way across the reed or at specific areas like the rails. Thicker regions are best discovered by watching the tip as you close it slowly between your thumb and index finger. The reed tip should close gradually from the corners to the middle. Areas that close last or do not close at all are too thick. If you find such regions, use the techniques found in steps 2, 3, or 4, depending on your needs. A dial indicator can also be used to determine adherence to basic principles of reed symmetry. Figure 10 Adam Schwalje is currently instructor of bassoon at the University of Colorado at Boulder, where he is a sabbatical replacement for Yoshiyuki Ishikawa. He is also studying for the DMA at the Cincinnati College - Conservatory of Music with William Winstead. Adam earned the Bachelor of Music, Master of Music, and Bachelor of Arts in Molecular Biology degrees from the University of Colorado at Boulder.
135 Bad Notes on the Bassoon... And what you can do about them! THE DOUBLE REED 133 Robert S. Williams Northville, Michigan Today s modern bassoon is really not modern at all. The basic keywork on the instrument has not changed much for the past hundred years, except for the addition of the whisper key and G resonance key as standard keys. We have simply continued to add extra keywork to the mechanisms that were in use by Heckel in the latter part of the 19th century, when he added rubber liners to the bore of the wing joint and small side of the boot to create the modern German system bassoon. The extended range of the bassoon further adds to the complications in the fingering system. No other wind instrument involves as much use of thumb keys as the bassoon. My bassoon has ten keys that must be played with my left thumb, five for my right. On a poorly serviced instrument, or with a bad reed, all notes are bad notes on the bassoon. I am going to discuss notes that can be difficult to attack or play in tune and make suggestions on how to improve them on an instrument in good working order with a decent reed. I have played the bassoon professionally for over thirty years and have come to rely on the techniques that I will discuss in this lecture. My teachers discussed many of the ideas I will speak about. Sometimes I listened, and sometimes it took me many years to come to the simple conclusion that I should have paid attention many years before. I strongly recommend that you try some of these ideas to see if they work for you. I will start with the lower problem notes and work my way up. A fingering chart with my recommendations will be found at the end of this article. Low D: This note tends to be very sharp on most bassoons. There is really no trick fingering to lower the pitch (if you add the low Bf key it will help but also adversely effect the resonance of the note). My best advice is to scrape the back of the reed if you have a sharp D until you can manage the note by using a very open and loose embouchure. Low E: I usually add the low Df key to this note to drop the pitch and add resonance. Low Fs: The best fingering for this note is to use the thumb Fs key. If it is very sharp, you can use the pp fingering: add both Fs keys and the low E key. Ef in staff: The addition of the second finger right hand and thumb Bf key stabilizes this often-unstable note. I try to scrape my reed so that the normal forked fingering will play in tune. If you need a softer or flatter fingering, use the first finger right hand instead of the second with the Bf key. First Finger E: I know of only one fingering for this note, and I am including it on my list because it is a bad note on bad bassoons and on bad reeds. When Fox was having liner separation problems with some of their bassoons in the mid nineties, one of the first notes to go bad on the bassoon was the first finger E. I find that this seems to be a problem note on less expensive bassoons and bassoons with serious bore problems. I have no solution for these bassoons. When you try out a bassoon if this seems to be a weak note, don t buy it, regardless of the price. This note is also a very important note to use when adjusting your reeds. If the note is flat on a good bassoon, it usually means that the reed is too weak to support the note. To make the reed stronger, do one or more of the following actions: ream the reed to make sure it goes onto the bocal at least 5-6 mm; shorten the reed by clipping the tip ½-1 mm; narrow the shape of the reed by sanding the sides; or squeeze the first and second wires on the side of the reed to round out the tube. Fs in staff: Most bassoon makers tune Fs so that the little finger right hand fingering Fs is slightly flatter than the thumb Fs. I teach my students to use the little finger Fs in the half-hole register if possible. In technical passages or scales involving Gs/Af to Fs/Gf, I use the thumb Fs key. This Fs requires a very large half-hole to speak clearly with either fingering. Always use the whisper key with this and any other half-hole note. A very good mute fingering for this note is to use the thumb Fs key fingering and add the low D key and little finger Ef key. G in staff: This note tends to be very
136 134 BAD NOTES ON THE BASSOON...AND WHAT YOU CAN DO ABOUT THEM! sharp. I highly recommend the use of the left little finger Ef or preferably Df key to lower the pitch. I use the Df key because it is slightly lower in pitch than the Ef key. Once again, use the whisper key on this and all half-hole notes. Af top of staff: If I had to pick the most troublesome note on the bassoon, it would without a doubt be this note. I have squawked this note more than any other in my professional career. It requires the use of a very small half-hole; too much and a crack is almost guaranteed. The use of the whisper key is also essential on this note to keep the pitch down. If you want to be sure this note does not crack, flick the A key at the beginning of the attack. This is especially useful for slurring to Af from open F as in the duet with the English horn in the slow movement of Dvorak s New World Symphony. If possible, try to keep the whisper key down when flicking by using your whisper key lock. A on top of staff: This note is the first of a series that requires the use of a speaker key to ensure a clean attack. The bassoon does not have octave keys as such, but you could consider the A key as a first octave key for use on this A. I vent or hold open the A key for short or repeated notes and flick, or momentarily hold it open at the beginning of long notes. When slurring to this note from below or above, I also use the A key to ensure a clean slur. Without the use of this key the attacks will tend to crack or go into split octaves and slurs may not work. Usually when slurring to this note from a half-hole note just below, you do not need to use the flick key. Bf on top of staff: This note tends to crack as badly as the A. It is also a very unstable note on many bassoons. The use of the C key or A key as a speaker key will help get clean attacks and slurs by venting or flicking as discussed above. Scraping the reed in the channels toward the tip may also help balky attacks. If all else fails, then either of the two vent keys can be help down for the duration of the note. B on top of staff: I flick/vent the C key for attacks and slurs to keep this note from cracking. Middle C: I flick/vent the C key or D key for clean attacks and slurs on this note. Cs above middle C: This note has two basic fingerings; the first or simple Cs is basically the same fingering as the octave lower minus the whisper key. I don t like this fingering except on special occasions when I need to play very soft or flat. The left thumb cannot use any of the flick keys on this note because it is in use depressing the Cs key. This gives the fingering the same problems as the previous notes: the attacks are not clean. The fingering I recommend, the long Cs, uses the left hand first, second and third fingers plus the Cs key, right hand second and third fingers plus the low F key. This fingering speaks immediately and cleanly. It is a bit higher in pitch than the simple fingering, so when switching to this fingering from the simple Cs you need to learn to voice it a bit lower. A variation to the long fingering is the full Cs that adds the first finger right hand and thumb Bf key to the long fingering. This is slightly lower in pitch but may be easier to slur to and from the A and Bf below. There are some bassoons, especially Schreiber s, where this note is so sharp that another fingering may be used, right hand first, second and third finger with the F key. D above middle C: I am a true believer that the high D key should be standard on all bassoons. This is because it is the only key that can be used as a speaker key for this D as well as greatly improving your chances of playing high D and Cs an octave higher. On bassoons without a high D key, you can flick the C key to get a clean attack on the D as long as there is play between the C key and the Ef trill mechanism underneath the C key. If you open the Ef trill mechanism you will get an Ef, not the D you want. There is a variation fingering similar to the long Cs above that is fingered left hand first and second fingers and right hand second, third and F key that does not require flicking but the resonance of this fingering is much different than the normal fingering. Ef and E above middle C: These notes are in the very resistant register of the bassoon and require a great deal of wind support to be in tune. I usually pick up my first finger right hand if clean attacks are needed or if slurring to these notes. This is not always true, so experiment to see what fingering works best for you. An example of when I use the full fingering is for octave slurs from the E in the staff to an octave above. It balks on my bassoon when I use the slur fingering! F above middle C: This note is probably the most resistant note on the bassoon as far as intonation. It requires a great deal of breath support, as well as firming up the embouchure to be in tune. You almost get the feeling of blowing up a balloon when playing this note correctly. My teacher, Norman
137 THE DOUBLE REED 135 Herzberg, calls the range of middle C to F the money register of the bassoon. Many of our most famous solos are in this register and without proper support these solos will simply not be successful. Two that come to my mind at the moment are the Berceuse solo for the Firebird Ballet of Stravinsky and the slow movement solo in Tchaikovsky s Fourth Symphony. Fs above middle C: There are three basic fingerings for this note with variations. The first two that I use most often have the same tendency as the above F and require a great deal of support, and the third is just the opposite and tends to be bright and sharp. They are all useful and should be familiar to any budding bassoonist. The first fingering I teach uses the second and third fingers left hand plus the Ef key and a Bf fingering in the right hand. This is a very good technical fingering and is fairly easy to slur to and from and to attack. If I want to slur up to this note, I will finger the left hand with only the second finger and Ef key. For sure attacks I sometimes will slightly crack the second finger left hand. The second fingering I teach uses the same left hand fingering as above, but uses the right hand first and second fingers and low F key. I use this fingering for maximum resonance. It is the best sounding of the fingerings, but has some shortcomings in technical passages because it will not slur as easily as the Bf fingering, and is more of a cross fingering than the Bf fingering above. You can use the same variations as on the Bf fingering for slurring and attacking notes. The third fingering I teach is basically the high G fingering without the F key. This simple Fs tends to be very bright and sharp, but is very useful in technical passages. This is the only Fs fingering I use that requires a half-hole, thus the whisper key should be used as well. High G: This note tends to be very sharp on many bassoons. A very open embouchure and the use of the whisper key are mandatory to control the pitch. One trick I use to lower the pitch of this note on problem instruments is to take a short piece of a plastic soda straw, slice it lengthwise and insert it into the G resonance tone hole. The G resonance tone hole is the hole that is connected to the right hand second finger ring key. The straw needs to be shorter in length then the tone hole so it doesn t go into the bore. The spring action of the straw will keep the straw in place, and additional straws can be inserted into the hole if needed. High Gs: This note requires the use of the whisper key and an open embouchure for proper intonation. The half-hole should be very small to keep the pitch down and sound centered. High A and Bf: I have an A to whisper key connection on my bassoon that closes the whisper key whenever I have my A key depressed. This centers the pitch on the high A and B f, and is also very useful when flicking the A an octave lower. The reason for this connection is that we don t need both the A key and whisper key open at the same time to play these note; the whisper key is superfluous and just makes the note sharper and brighter, so closing it helps not only intonation but also sound. High B: I believe this is the sharpest note on the bassoon when using the correct fingering. Playing this note in tune requires you to have a very open throat; use only the embouchure support needed and practice long tones until you get the intonation correct. I have heard of some students leaving off the Bf key to drop the pitch on this note. This works very well but also kills the wonderful resonance of the normal fingering. High C: This note is similar to the high B above, but is not nearly as sharp. If you have a high D key on your bassoon and you have trouble getting the C out using the normal high C key, try using the D key in its place. You can also use both C and D keys for a sure attack, but I find this fingering a bit bright. High Cs and D: There are several variations for fingering these two notes. I recommend half-holing the second finger of your left hand for better attacks on both of these notes. High Ef: I use a fingering John Miller showed me several years ago that works very well. Use your left hand second and third fingers, low D and thumb Cs and little finger Ef key, right hand second finger and thumb Fs. From this E f you can slur to a very strong High E by adding the high E key and right hand Cs trill and little finger Af keys. FINAL THOUGHTS I believe the hardest part of learning to play the bassoon is going from note to note cleanly and in tune. Hopefully these suggestions will help you with this. These are my recommendations and I encourage you to try them. Keep an open mind and have fun playing the bassoon! SEE FINGERING CHARTS ON THE FOLLOWING PAGES
138 136 BAD NOTES ON THE BASSOON...AND WHAT YOU CAN DO ABOUT THEM! FINGERING CHART Low D, pp Low E Low Fs Low Fs, pp Low A, pp Ef, normal Ef, pp Ef, simple Fs, normal Fs, pp G, normal Cs, long
139 THE DOUBLE REED 137 Cs, full Cs, short D, Special RECOMMENDED SPEAKER KEY USE A Bb B C D Ef Ef slur E
140 138 BAD NOTES ON THE BASSOON...AND WHAT YOU CAN DO ABOUT THEM! E slur F Fs, resonant Fs, normal Fs, simple High G High Gs High A, normal High A, simple High Bf High B High C
141 THE DOUBLE REED 139 High Cs High D, normal High D, simple High Ef, for attacks High E
142 140 The Double Reed Vol. 28 No. 2 MAKING OBOE REEDS: AN ANNOTATED BIBLIOGRAPHY OF PRIMARY SOURCES Making Oboe Reeds: An Annotated Bibliography of Primary Sources David Moore, Columbia University Libraries New York, New York Artley, Joe. How to Make Double Reeds for Oboe, English Horn, and Bassoon. Old Greenwich, CT: Jack Spratt, pp. Outdated and confusing, this book tries to explain the processes of making reeds for the major double-reed instruments in only thirty-five pages. I question whether some of the tools mentioned in this work are really necessary for making good reeds: sandpaper, a file, and reed cement, for example. Instead of offering an oversight in these few pages, the author chooses to focus on insignificant steps that most oboists I know do not include. The illustrations are small and difficult to understand and, in fact, remind me of drawings from a nineteenth-century Sears and Roebuck catalog. The crow is mentioned, but not defined adequately. Reed staples are to be of the proper dimensions for good pitch, but those dimensions are not given. The manual is full of gaps and of little practical use to either oboists or bassoonists. Berman, Melvin. Art of Oboe Reed Making. Toronto: Canadian Scholars Press, pp. A constructive guidebook for beginning reed-makers. The author offers advice on tools, light, and cane, as well as calling attention to the need for an optimistic approach and patience. The book is divided into the usual sections of gouging, shaping, and mounting the reed. Beginners are advised on where in the book to pick up in the procedure, as they generally acquire cane already gouged, shaped, and folded. The author draws the scraping process out over two or three days, which to me does not seem practical if the oboist is in a hurry for reeds. A section on problems and solutions is included, as is an extensive index, which is very helpful and not included in most other manuals. The scope of the work is comprehensive; however, more illustrations would make it a bit easier to use. Busch, David L. A Technical Comparison of an 1807, a 1916, and a 1968 Oboe and Related Reedmaking and Performance Problems. [Baton Rouge, LA]: Louisiana State University, pp. This doctoral dissertation is esoteric even to the oboist. The main objective of the work is to compare the oboes of different years (two historical, one modern) using criteria pertaining to mechanism development, instrument performance, dimensions, instrument performance characteristics, and so forth. There are two sections relevant to reed making: one involves reed preparation itself, while the other applies it to scrape and compares the two most recent reeds. Reed and bore dimension comparisons are also included. The dissertation includes a bibliography, an appendix (basically a detailed comparison table of the three oboes), and a glossary of terms. This work would be most suited for the music library of a university or college with a program in oboe performance or performance theory, but it does not contain enough practical information on reed making to be of use to students or professionals at most levels. Bridgman, Henry. How to Make an Oboe Reed. Brant Beach, NJ: H. Bridgman, pp. This brief booklet first offers a description of reed-making tools, then proceeds to instructions for sharpening the reed knife. Then follow the steps for wrapping the cane on the staple, the procedure required for scraping, the crow, finishing the tip, and final adjustments. An appendix of cane suppliers is given, as are a couple of paragraphs about the author. The work is rather short--so much so, in fact, that it does not seem to cover the reed-making process adequately. Only a couple of basic drawings are included. This is a basic guide which might be suitable as a supplement to larger works on the same topic. Girard, Alain. Le roseau chantant: une introduction à la confection d anches de hautbois = Das Schilfrohr Singt = The Singing Reed. [Basel]: Musik-Akademie der Stadt Basel, pp. A helpful guide with large, clear photographs at every step of the reedmaking procedure, from splitting cane to trying and correcting finished reeds. Side-by-side texts in
143 THE DOUBLE REED 141 three languages (English, French and German) make the work accessible to a larger readership. However, the work might not be particularly interesting to American oboists, as the process laid out here is relevant to the continental European aural concept of the oboe and the steps needs to make reeds that produce it. This does not exclude the text from American libraries, nevertheless, as some explanations, such as that of tying on the cane, are more universal. The guide contains a short essay on why oboists make their own reeds as well as a section on harvesting and storing cane (with photographs), which is interesting but not particularly useful for reed making itself. The appendix includes a selective bibliography of international sources and a few addresses of cane gardeners and suppliers in Western Europe. This is a good supplemental guide that would be welcome in most music libraries. Goossens, Leon, and Edwin Roxburgh. Oboe. New York: Schirmer, pp. An overview of the history, development, technique, and musicianship of the oboe. Chapter 3 gives instructions for reed-making, which are not remarkable in themselves, but do provide a synopsis of the method. Extensive definitions of the tools needed and tips on reed correction are also presented. Grabb, Henry H. Pedagogical Approaches to Oboe Reed Making. Tallahassee, FL: Florida State University, pp. This dissertation is not a guide for making reeds, but is instead a work on how teachers might wish to go about teaching students to make their own reeds. Heavy on theory and its application, the text concentrates on problem resolution and appropriate guidance that teachers may offer. Questionnaires are included, such as those on scraping and knife sharpening that allow the teacher to assess his own reedmaking technique in order to convey it to the student through clearer instruction. Chapter 7, The Most Difficult Aspects of Reed Making Pedagogy, is particularly interesting in that it discusses students lack of patience and self-confidence, as well as how to approach that point in oboe instruction when a student s performance ability outdistances his reed-making skills. This work would be of interest solely to oboe teachers with students at the age or ability level appropriate for reed making. It would be a worthy addition to the library of an academic institution with a program in music education and, to a lesser extent, music performance. Hedrick, Peter, and Elizabeth Hedrick. Oboe Reed Making: A Modern Method. Oneonta, NY: Swift-Dorr Publications, pp. This brief work aims to set out the most important steps for the beginning reed maker. It consists of large, clear photos and easy-to-follow text. It is best suited to students who can read and do instead of those who read while doing. All the basic steps are covered here. Gouging and shaping the cane are mentioned with photos, but the bulk of the instruction deals with the materials needed for and the technique of tying onto the staple, how to hold the knife, scraping (in useful, but not excessive, detail), clipping the tip, and finishing. An appendix gives instructions for proper knife sharpening, and the book concludes with a list of cane and supply vendors--most likely outdated at this point. The book, although nearly thirty years old, would still come in handy for the beginning student needing visual reinforcement after preliminary instruction in reed making. This work might be useful for high-school libraries. It would certainly have a place in academic libraries as well, especially for oboe teachers needing to provide some extra substance to the student. Ledet, David A. Oboe Reed Styles: Theory and Practice. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, pp. The aim of this work is to give the oboist an overview of tone production. The author details, sometimes at great length, the proper method of using the reed and the body to achieve the best possible tone. The book is divided into two general sections: tone production and oboe reeds. The first is actually the most useful and consists of useful explanations of respiration, articulation, the embouchure, the instrument, acoustics, and the listener. This first section would the more useful of the two for advanced players. Remember, though, there is some theory here, which comes in handy for teachers, who always want to introduce beginning students to the right way to approach the oboe and avoid problems further down the road--here we have the how to manual. The second section is much more tedious and, regretfully, rather dry. Over fifty pages are dedicated to the comparison of the reeds of individual oboists throughout the twentieth century and in different parts of the Western world. There are photographs of the oboists reeds
144 142 MAKING OBOE REEDS: AN ANNOTATED BIBLIOGRAPHY OF PRIMARY SOURCES (front lit and silhouette) which serve a limited purpose except for those reed makers interested in how scrape affects tone and the aural concept of the instrument in different countries. Also included at the end are a summary, conclusions, endnotes, and a bibliography. The work would be best suited for academic libraries and for the personal collections of oboists themselves. Light, Jay. The Oboe Reed Book: A Straight-talking Guide to Making and Understanding Oboe Reeds. Des Moines, IA: Drake University, pp. the Reed provides guidance in certain cases if, for example, high or low notes do not respond, if the tone is to bright or dark, or if the pitch is to flat or sharp. This is a decent source for reed making; however, it is somewhat unorganized and a bit difficult to follow. This guide would make a good secondary resource for the oboist but might be too difficult as an introductory text. Straight-talking but verbose, this manual is longer than it ought to be for basic instruction. It does, nevertheless, include some pointers that seem to be lacking in other manuals of the same scope. In the preface, the author acknowledges that reed making can be frustrating. He also points out that no real substitute exists for learning about reeds from a fine, patient oboist and teacher. This approach may appear refreshing, but the text itself is long-winded, and the hand-drawn illustrations are too simplistic to prop up the written instructions. There is a detailed table of contents with subsections to outline the steps of the reed-making process. A nine-page section on English horn reeds is incorporated--one of the best such sections I have seen: it is detailed, informative, and contains a treatment of the subject that is seldom encountered. The book is worth adding to a personal collection or to an academic library with a program in music performance or education. Mayer, Robert, and Traugott Rohner. Oboe Reeds: How to Make and Adjust Them. Evanston, IL: Instrumentalist Co., pp. A helpful and well-written manual accompanied with photos and illustrations at every step of the reed-making process, this work clearly explains for players of all levels what the proper technique and correction are. Especially useful are the descriptions of how to hold the reed during scraping and a section dedicated to the characteristics of the crow. Frequently-asked questions and answers are given at the end and concern pitch problems and reed resistance. Practical for teachers and students alike, this book would be welcome in any music library. Pizer, Russell A. An Outline for Making Long-lay Oboe Reeds. Old Greenwich, CT: Jack Spratt Woodwind Shop, pp., 10 plates. This guide presumes that the cane to be used for the reeds is already gouged, shaped, and folded. The introduction gives a general outline of the theory of making oboe reeds. A list of equipment needed (that is, tools) is included, as is one for the materials for the reed itself. Procedure is outlined clearly in text, and large illustrations follow the text--they do not appear alongside, which makes flipping back and forth through the pages a necessity. Added explanations are appended to the main text; consequently, the instructions do not flow uninterruptedly. A good section entitled Finishing Rothwell, Evelyn. Evelyn Rothwell s Guide to Oboe Reed Making. Hove, Sussex: Nova Music, pp. As much as I dislike Rothwell s aural concept of the oboe, I must admit that this guide is useful for the beginner and the professional. The introduction highlights reeds for beginners, how to care for and improve them, and some general advice. The second section goes into the details of the equipment needed, and soaking and binding the cane to the staple. Problems with each step are addressed immediately instead of being saved for the end of the book. Although her instructions are for the English scrape, Rothwell includes the American and French scrapes as well out of fairness and a sense of international musicianship. Proper care of the equipment is emphasized, and clear photographs accompany the text to help avoid confusion. The typeface is a bit to small for eyes over the age of forty, perhaps, but the manual would be a good addition to a personal collection, especially for the European oboist as it implies the European playing style or timbre. Shaffer, David. Learning to Make Oboe Reeds. Mentone, CA: Mill Creek Publications, pp. Not a manual itself, this short brochure merely sets forth the procedure for oboe reed making, assuming that gouging and shaping have already taken place. No illustrations are given. The text is terse and sometimes vague. It outlines the standards for American
145 THE DOUBLE REED 143 reed making and gives a list of tools. A brief discussion of the knife follows, as does a paragraph on the sharpening stone. Wrapping and scraping are discussed a bit, with heavy reference made to Ledet s book (see above). Some helpful hints on final adjustment are given, such as how to adjust the pitch. Endnotes are included, as well as a one-page bibliography. The text is very large and uncomfortable to read. The brochure might be useful for some teachers, but the lack of photos makes it of little relevance to the student. Very few libraries in the United States own this work, which may be interpreted as a comment on its appeal. Shalita, Joseph. Making Oboe Reeds: A Basic Guide to Reed Making. S.l.: s.n., pp. 17 April < This work is available for purchase and downloading from the author s own web site. This guide and Verburg s manual (see above) are the most practical, modern, and freshest contributions to the field of oboe reed-making in quite a few years. Shalita covers every aspect of the reed process and, in addition, includes sections on what a good reed is, breathing and support, making reeds at high altitudes, and how to get out of a reed-making slump. A list of additional resources is appended. The author s web site (see link in citation) is a trimmed-down version of the e-book. I downloaded the e- book to a CD-ROM, which makes it portable for reference during tours. An excellent resource. Sprenkle, Robert. Art of Oboe Playing. Evanston, IL: Summy-Birchard, pp. This is a classic work on oboe playing. Every student I know has read and kept it because it gives excellent supplemental instruction. The work begins with the concepts associated with learning the oboe, tone production, and various aspects of musicianship, such as phrasing and practice. The second part of the book is devoted to the problems and techniques of oboe reed making. Tools are explained, as are the preliminary processes of gouging and shaping. Large photos incorporated into the text prevent the student from becoming confused and frustrated. Most useful is a series of photographs, both frontlit and in silhouette, of each step of the scraping process. Here you can see exactly how to remove the bark and cane in six stages. A practical chapter on reed adjustment ends the book. I have used this guide through my years of playing the oboe and consider it one of the best primary sources. It should be included in every personal and music or humanities library. Steins, Karl. Rohrbau für Oboen. Berlin: Bote & Bock, . 27 pp. The table of contents is most likely the handiest part of this work. The pamphlet seems to be designed to inform those who do not play the oboe about what is required to make the reeds. The photographs included are inconsequential--the reedmaking knife in one of them is merely a penknife. The author points out that the French aural concept is no longer the ideal; in the post-tabuteau United States, however, it never was, so there is significant Eurocentrism here. Text is dedicated to the construction of oboe d amour, English horn, and heckelphone reeds, but the effort is pointless due to the lack of practical advice regarding oboe-reed making. Ought not the mere mention of the heckelphone in a book about oboe reeds to be sufficient to dissuade the serious oboe reed-maker from consulting this source, even were he able to read German? Stotijn, Jaap. Kunst van het Maken van Hoboreiten. Wormerveer: Molenaar, . 16 pp. In Dutch. Half of this reed-making guide is given to gouging and shaping. Full-page photos are included of cane guillotines, for instance, but by the time the oboist is ready to start the tying-on and scraping, practical illustrations disappear, and the text becomes tediously verbose. In my opinion, the work skips over the most important part of the reed-making procedure--scraping and adjusting. The last three pages are dedicated to embouchure and vibrato, which, though important enough, have little to do with making reeds. Outmoded and extremely boring. Verburg, Barbara. Oboe Reed- Making Simplified. Winter Springs, FL: B. Verburg, pp. The only library holding this work is the Library of Congress, but it belongs on the bookshelf of every oboe teacher and student--as well as in most music libraries. A desktop publication by the author, this guide is clear, easy-to-read, and has an up-to-date feel. Thankfully, it does not go into tedious detail. The language is enjoyable--the reader can actually hear the teacher speaking reassuringly. The introduction contains short definitions of the steps in the reed-making process. Tools are listed with photos. The manual focuses mainly on reed making after
146 144 MAKING OBOE REEDS: AN ANNOTATED BIBLIOGRAPHY OF PRIMARY SOURCES the cane is folded--that is, not a lot of detail is given about gouging and shaping the cane. Clear color photos are included alongside every step. Tips are included throughout. The guide achieves its goal of simplifying the process, but no much so that clarity is sacrificed. It seems that the author identified a gap in the literature at this level, then filled that gap with an excellent resource. Includes a table of contents, a listing of figures, and a section for taking notes. A first-rate primary source. Weber, David B., and Ferald B. Capps. The Reed Maker s Manual. Phoenix, AZ: Capps and Weber. 133 pp. This is one of the more useful guides. Because it breaks down the reed-making process into easy-to-stomach sections, the work does not seem as long as it really is. First, the authors explain what supplies are needed and even give a checklist for the student. Basic techniques are covered next, including instructions on knife sharpening, scraping the cane, crowing the reed, and using the plaque. The sections are, when necessary, broken down into subsections for clarification. Simple illustrations accompany the text, making the entire guide easy to understand. Many of the illustrations are paired as correct and incorrect --allowing the reed maker to know what a mistake looks like. The next section goes into preliminary preparation of the cane and reed blank--all the way from selecting whole tube cane, gouging, and shaping to wrapping the cane on and making the first scrapes. The final section delves into further scraping and refining the reed. A couple of pages are included about English horn reeds. There are two appendixes: a table of reed measurements and some useful photographs of reeds. This manual would be useful to most teachers and students, even those at an upper-intermediate level. This book would be a welcome addition to most libraries, except smaller public ones.
147 THE DOUBLE REED 145 Ask the Doctor: Treatment Options for Medical Problems II William J. Dawson, M.D. Glenview, Illinois INTRODUCTION In my last column, I discussed some of the philosophies and healing techniques that fall outside the purview of socalled traditional medicine; these included chiropractic, homeopathy, and dietary therapy. This issue will focus on descriptions of several physical treatment methods that are also classified as integrative medicine and may be useful in caring for double reed musicians medical difficulties. For the sake of convenience, I have grouped them arbitrarily into four categories; however, not all members of a single group may share similar philosophies. MANUAL THERAPY Physical therapy Many states now allow licensed physical therapists to diagnose and treat patients without a physician s referral. The nature and quality of care these patients receive is no different from that given to a referred patient, but individual therapists differ in their diagnostic and treatment skills and experience. I consider this to be an alternative form of care only when it does not involve a physician, and because it relies on patient selfreferral to the therapist (which may or may not be the optimal choice for a particular problem). Massage therapy Massage therapists are licensed in many states but are not required to undergo the same rigorous and prolonged training program as a physical therapist. That said, therapeutic massage can be a very effective treatment for a variety of muscle problems, as well as affording the recipient a feeling of relaxation and well-being at the completion of a treatment session. In some cases, patients prefer a massage therapist to a physical therapist for treating muscular difficulties, and physician referrals to this specialty are increasing. TOPICAL THERAPY Applying substances to the skin for relief of various conditions is a long-standing part of both traditional and alternative medicine, as well as sports training and wellness care. A variety of local skin irritants actually cause increased blood circulation at and near the skin, producing increased surface heat. The use of topical salicylates (aspirin-like compounds) over inflamed or painful deep tissues is said to relieve local inflammation and decrease the associated symptoms. Steroid compounds (similar to cortisone) are used with local ultrasound in a physical therapy modality known as phonophoresis, and with low-dose electrical current in iontophoresis; both these techniques facilitate the absorption of the drug through the skin. For many years a compound called dimethylsulfoxide (DMSO) has been used in veterinary medical practice to relieve local pain and inflammation; it is not currently available in the USA for legal human use but has been employed nonetheless by many people with reports of great benefit. A major drawback to its use is the resulting garlic-like odor on the user s breath, an obvious indication that the chemical is indeed absorbed through intact skin and is distributed through the bloodstream. BODY AWARENESS METHODS ( BODYWORK ) These three treatment practices are based on rather similar philosophies, despite their vast differences in national origin and years of use. All three focus on movement, posture and meditation, although in somewhat different ways. Alexander Technique About 100 years ago the Australian actor Frederick Matthias Alexander was having difficulty in projecting his voice in large theaters. As he discovered techniques to overcome this difficulty, he developed several theories of body awareness and control that are now taught by practitioners trained in these techniques. The stated goal is to regain correct spinal alignment and improve the posture of the head, neck and back; it is described as an aid to one s physical and psychological well-being, in addition to serving as a preventive technique for musculoskeletal problems. The Alexander practitioner teaches the patient to recognize and unlearn established adult posture patterns producing chronic muscle tightness (spasm) by exercises and gentle manipulation of the head,
148 146 ASK THE DOCTOR: TREATMENT OPTIONS FOR MEDICAL PROBLEMS II neck and body. The patient must participate actively in this process, working to achieve greater levels of body awareness and relaxation. This method has proved helpful to many people suffering from musculoskeletal problems, but not from visceral or internal organ diseases. Feldenkrais Technique A Russian physicist, Moshe Feldenkrais, developed this set of techniques as a way to help his own previously injured knees. His methods are designed to improve the range of body motion and to aid flexibility, coordination and function. The program has two components: (1) sessions devoted to verbally guided movement awareness, involving thinking, sensing, meditating and imagining; during these sessions, the patient is taught a variety of body movements; (2) hands-on sessions devoted to the same set of movements as in the first part, but with the addition of guiding and manipulation performed by the licensed practitioner. It is said to benefit those with neuromuscular disorders, including multiple sclerosis, stroke, spinal injury and various motor disorders. It is also used by those less seriously afflicted, as well as for retraining the body in proper postures and movements necessary for a variety of occupations and sports. Yoga This is a true Eastern discipline whose history dates back many centuries and which is composed of more than 20 different practices or philosophies. All these have in common the goal of achieving nirvana, that is, enlightenment and complete freedom from tensions. The primary form of yoga practiced today in the United States is a variant of one of these practices, tantra yoga, and is employed frequently as an adjunct to traditional treatments for various neuromuscular disorders. The stated purpose of this type of yoga is to strengthen and relax the body. Three components postures, breathing and meditation are basic to achieving its goals. Exercises to achieve and hold specific bodily postures are claimed to improve the circulation, stimulate bodily organs, stretch the body and restore normal alignment of its structures. Breathing exercises, utilizing controlled and held breaths, accompany the postural exercises. Meditation seeks to result in one s detachment from the environment, by avoiding feelings and emotions while meditating. It is designed to lead one into a tranquil, peaceful and enlightened state. I believe that it also can put some people more in touch with their bodies and can help them control non-yoga body positions and motor activities more effectively; it also seems to have a relaxing or tension-relieving component. of them also licensed physicians, employ acupuncture as an adjunct to traditional treatment methods. I won t go into detail here about the philosophy and techniques of acupuncture and its several variants; many texts and articles explain these subjects quite well and in great detail. The results and current uses of these treatment methods are likely to be of greater interest to readers of this column. When properly done, insertion (and, often, manipulation) of sterile, single-use acupuncture needles into certain superficial body areas can control pain, and may even relieve some types of pain entirely for the duration of their use. It has been employed with generally good effect as anesthesia for certain surgical procedures and often is combined with traditional anesthetic medications. In addition, people with chronic pain conditions often can be helped by acupuncture sessions, as an adjunct to other treatment modalities. I have referred patients myself for this treatment, and most of them obtained positive results (not cures ) from the procedures. A number of other conditions also can be helped by acupuncture. Clinical studies have shown its effectiveness in reducing nausea, especially following cancer chemotherapy, and in reducing the frequency and severity of asthma attacks in patients with chronic asthma. Other medical uses, although accompanied by less welldocumented success studies, include treatment of drug/alcohol abuse and cessation of smoking. In all the above circumstances, the use of acupuncture has been under the direction of a physician and is generally employed in combination with other treatment methods. ACUPUNCTURE AND ITS VARIANTS For thousands of years, the principles of Chinese medicine have been practiced in both Asian and Western countries. Its complex structure, including pulse diagnosis, herbal medicine prescriptions and insertion of needles along pre-defined meridians or body lines, has a few Western adherents in the United States today. However, the use of needle stimulation, or acupuncture, has become a well-recognized treatment modality in and of itself. Trained practitioners of the art, many Acupressure/Shiatsu These two derivatives of acupuncture rely on manual pressure on various body areas, not on the insertion of needles. However, all three philosophies and treatment aims are quite similar claiming to increase the flow of ki (qi), or body energy, as a method of treating various
149 THE DOUBLE REED 147 conditions. Each technique employs pressure (acupressure) or massage (Shiatsu) to the same body lines, or meridians, that are recognized in acupuncture. Reflexology This is a comparatively new discipline, although it is based on some of the same 5,000-year-old Chinese principles I ve alluded to earlier. It is described as an application of manual pressure or stimulation to certain body areas (especially the ears, palms of the hands, and soles of the feet). Reflexologists claim that this stimulation of reflex points under the patient s skin enhances the flow of the body s bioelectrical energy, or sends impulses by some type of pathway to specific bodily organs. The technique is claimed to be useful in assessing and improving the function of these organs. Some practitioners believe this flow operates through the same pathways utilized in acupuncture. However, there is little scientific evidence to support these claims, and many people find that a reflexology session leaves them with a feeling of relaxation and well-being, just like a good massage. It s not surprising, therefore, to find that reflexology practitioners are often masseurs, masseuses or massage therapists as well. THE BEST OF BOTH WORLDS? During my years of practice, I developed a pragmatic approach to treatment, not only for performing artists but for patients in general. Based on the principle of if it works, it s good, my treatment options have expanded far beyond the traditional philosophies and practices taught in medical school and postgraduate hospital training. From the experience gained by following numerous patients and observing the results of many varieties of care, I developed some personal beliefs about treatment that I d like to share. Our bodies try to heal themselves. This is a phrase I ve used for more than 40 years, and its truth is based on sound physiological principles. Infections wall themselves off, or come to a head; fractures can heal without medical care, although the position of the bones may not be ideal. We all possess these natural powers of healing, and all healthcare philosophies, traditional or nontraditional, share this belief. Treatment should employ, enhance, and optimize these natural powers whenever possible. Certainly there will be times when open wounds will need to be closed surgically, acute diabetic crises treated with insulin and many other similar indications for the knowledge and skills of a traditional physician. But there are many other circumstances when nontraditional methods, or a rational combination of the traditional and the integrative, may indeed be more effective than establishment medicine alone. This is where, I believe, the pragmatic approach offers much more than the orthodox, and I encourage both physicians and patients to consider the possible benefits of multiple treatment modalities when the indications are appropriate. I have two caveats about this philosophy: First, it is mandatory that the proposed treatment regimen do no harm. All methods of treatment must be complementary, not conflicting; each practitioner involved in any type of combined care must be aware of the possible adverse interactions among all the various chemicals and other substances being used in treatment. Secondly, each practitioner must be aware that other treatment methods are being used concurrently, and must be in regular communication with the patient and all his or her other healers. This is easy to do if one practitioner refers the patient directly for additional care from another discipline. However, if the patient makes the decision to obtain additional care, it is his/her responsibility to inform each practitioner of the other s role in the treatment process, and all practitioners must approve of the combined program. Without adequate communication among all concerned parties, it is far too easy for treatment to be prolonged, less than effective, or clearly dangerous for the patient.
150 148 THE TANCIBUDEK STORY The Tancibudek Story This interview first appeared in Reeding Matter (September 2004 Vol 7 No 3) with permission from ABC Classic FM Australia. preparation for this program, is just an amazing read. [The book by Janice Stockigt is an academic thesis and has not been published. Jirí lent me his personal copy.] This interview with Jirí and Vera Tancibudek was recorded in the ABC s Adelaide studios on 17 March 2004 as an installment in ABC Classic FM s Keys To Music program. The original conversation, which lasted about an hour, was of course edited to form the version which went to air and which is transcribed below. Some sections which were not able to be included for reasons of time, or for technical reasons, are referred to in inserted notes. Where some small words were omitted in the course of the conversation, these have been added into the transcribed text without comment. Other words have been added in square brackets for clarity. Graham Abbott: This is Keys To Music and I m Graham Abbott. Welcome. For more than 50 years Australia has been home to two people who were born in Czechoslovakia and who in their own ways have contributed to the current richness of Australian musical life. Born in northeastern Bohemia in 1921, Jirí Tancibudek originally studied the violin, but in his mid teens took up the oboe. The decision was, in retrospect, one of those vital and life-changing moments. He rapidly rose to prominence in Czechoslovakia as an oboist of consummate skill. He was appointed principal oboe with the opera in Brno at the age of 22, a position he held for 18 months, after which, at only 24 years of age, he became the principal oboist of the famed Czech Philharmonic, then conducted by Rafael Kubelik, and later held the same post with the Czech Chamber Orchestra, then conducted by Vaclav Talich. In September 1941 Jirí Tancibudek met the pianist Vera Hasková at the Prague Conservatorium. Some years later, after studies with Leon Goossens in Britain (brother of the conductor and composer Eugene Goossens), Jirí played for Goossens oboe classes when the English virtuoso visited Prague, and Vera Hasková was the piano accompanist for these classes. Clearly there was more between these two fine musicians than just music. In 1948 they were married, in Jablonec, and after their marriage they set up an apartment in Prague. It s a great joy and privilege to welcome into the studio Jirí and Vera Tancibudek. Vera Tancibudek: Thank you. Jirí Tancibudek: Thank you. GA: Jirí, I ve had the most wonderful time reading the book Conversations with Jirí Tancibudek by Janice Stockigt, which apart from being wonderful in researching your life in [In the original conversation Jirí here talked at length about both Rafael Kubelik and Vaclav Talich.] Clearly Vaclav Talich thought a lot of you. In Prague in October 1948, he said of your playing that it was the most beautiful and individual oboe playing I have ever heard. Vera, can you remember the first times you heard Jirí play? VT: I heard Jirí play for the first time at the Conservatorium of Music in Prague. One of the subjects was Orchestral Instruments, and especially the lesser-known instruments were always demonstrated by one of the students, and Jirí was asked to play for us on the oboe. Well we all were absolutely enchanted because he sounded quite different from all the other oboists we ever heard before in Prague. Then I was asked to accompany the oboe classes in Prague. I could hear the other students as well and Jirí was absolute[ly without] peer among them all. It was such a velvety and beautiful tone that he produced, and so musical, and he used vibrato when very few oboists used it at that stage. GA: They had a much straighter tone, didn t they VT: A very straight tone, and he was already the one who was able to sing on the oboe, and that always was absolutely unbelievable; so alive and so beautiful. GA: Well here s a little of that magical Tancibudek sound. It s the third of the Six Metamorphoses After Ovid by Benjamin Britten. This particular movement s entitled Niobe. music
151 THE DOUBLE REED 149 GA: The year the two of you were married, 1948, was the year of the communist takeover in Czechoslovakia, after some years of political tension following the end of the second world war. Vera it was your parents who provided the circumstances for you and Jirí to leave Czechoslovakia, wasn t it? VT: It was my father, who by that time was already 60 years old. He was the owner of a big export firm of Bohemian glass and in 48, after the Communist putsch, all his properties were confiscated and the firm was nationalised. [Vera also mentioned here that her father was declared an enemy of the state but an extraneous noise in the studio meant this had to be deleted.] So for my father this was a great shock and disappointment because basically he was a great patriot. In the first world war already he fought on the side of the Allies against the Germans, then from 1938 till 45 he was in the Underground. Eventually he was caught by the Gestapo and spent some time in prison. And so now another disaster, the third one, so he felt, well, that was just much too much, and he decided he didn t want to see the ruin of the family and all he and his father had already built. My family was a very closely-knit family, so my two sisters and myself immediately decided we will join the parents and go as well, and finally my father persuaded Jirí that it will be very difficult for him and me to stay if the close family went. GA: Jirí, professionally, what was your life like just before you left? What sort of work were you doing? JT: Well, I think I held the best positions I could ever get in Europe. The Czech Philharmonic was probably one of the leading orchestras in Europe, together with the Berlin Phil. and some of the English orchestras, and I knew very well that I can t possibly get a similar job anywhere else. So I knew wherever I go I can only lose, musically. I was not a Communist, I never would have become Communist. The position I held was quite unique and I had a lot of opportunities to play concertos, chamber music, orchestra playing and so on. GA: You actually spent two nights on the run crossing the border VT: Yes, the crossing was extremely dramatic. We were in a way lucky that the brother of my father s business partner was at that time in New York and he was able to organise the escape. By 1950 it was almost impossible to get out of the country already. All our passports were confiscated, and the only way to get out was to illegally walk across the frontier. And now to find out where, because the last twenty kilometres or so were a sort of no man s land. All the people had to be evacuated, and police were patrolling that part of the country regularly to catch any people, and of course the punishment was very severe if they caught anyone getting out. So it took us two nights GA: There were dogs VT: Yes, dogs and shooting, and it was really very frightening. There were about twelve of us, because not only our family went across but also the family of my uncle who organised this escape, and there were two little children, one two-year-old and one ten-year-old. We had to carry them and hope that we will make it and they will keep quiet and not start crying and drawing the attention of the police to us. Well we didn t manage in one night so we had to hide a whole day in thick scrub until the next night came and the guide came back to us and took us across. GA: How much luggage could you take? VT: Nothing! We just were told, you go, and I think Jirí just took the oboe JT: I had only the oboe with me, nothing else. I didn t even take an extra shirt or trousers. That was enough, to carry the oboe, and just as well I did because that was the magic key which opened the door to many countries of the world. GA: And so you found yourselves in Germany. VT: We had to finish in a German police station to tell them who we were; they had to establish our identity. Fortunately my mother was very definite that we have to take all our papers. Nothing else is important, but we have to have all our certificates, birth certificates, and diplomas GA: To establish your identity VT: and everything we achieved and studied and so on. And she was right, too, because we were so many times asked who we were, and screened many times, until finally we were accepted as refugees. And that was already after the time that the international refugee organisation closed its doors for all people, because it closed in 48, I think, after the war.
152 150 THE TANCIBUDEK STORY But fortunately we had an uncle in the States who had some money and he financed our departure to Australia. GA: Before coming to Australia, you had all these other possible things to think about, I guess. You had connections in England because you d been there, and Sir John Barbirolli had some connections in South Africa, and you had a letter of support from the Czech composer Bohuslav Martinů (he was living in the United States). And Jirí you had offers from orchestras in Dublin and Cape Town and Colombia in South America JT: Well, Colombia - I am very glad I didn t sign that one VT: Actually we were extremely happy that we both had had periods of time in England. I studied there for about a year and a half at the Royal Academy of Music, and Jirí [studied] with [Leon] Goossens, so we knew people who could help us. GA: You even had an offer to be principal oboe of the Chicago Symphony somehow thought that the clash, C/ Cs, is typical. It almost describes her character. GA: In the recital that you gave in Sydney at the end of 1950, Vera you played the piano in that recital VT: Yes I did. GA: It was not long after you d arrived in the country VT: No, it was very short, perhaps a couple of weeks only. It was so wellattended, and we got such lovely write-ups, so immediately we got engagements in the ABC. We were introduced to the music clubs, and there were many of them. JT: Well that was the time when Rafael Kubelik was the chief conductor of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and I had a contract, but I could not take my wife. At that time there was such an inhuman law or regulation that she had to wait for a quota for immigrants and that would be three years. I would have to wait three years before I could get her to the United States, so I very unhappily declined and returned the contract. GA: Do we owe your arrival in Australia to Eugene Goossens? JT: Yes, I came specifically on the invitation of Eugene Goossens, who sent a telegram to me in Germany, and he asked me whether I would like to become oboe professor at the Sydney Conservatorium. Sounded quite glamorous, but the pay was fairly miserable. However I took the position because it was something to start with. I could not join the [Sydney Symphony] Orchestra because of the Union prohibition. GA: A work composed in the 1950s is the Oboe Sonatina of Margaret Sutherland, which you recorded with the pianist Noreen Stokes in Adelaide in Here s part of the recording. I ve chosen the slow movement, which is marked Singingly by the composer, as it displays your beautiful legato phrasing and evenness of tone. music GA: Speaking of the Margaret Sutherland Oboe Sonatina, Jirí, you ve got a view about the end of the piece. JT: That s the end of the second movement, which we just heard. The final note sounds C against Cs, which for me was quite strange, and I felt that it s Margaret Sutherland herself. It was a characteristic of her nature. She was a wonderful person, but on the one hand she was a happy and relaxed lady, on the other hand there was something negative about her, and I GA: They were such an important part of musical life in Australia, particularly then VT: Particularly then in the 50s. [The original conversation included a discussion of the standards of Australian orchestras in the 1950s. Jirí was rather complimentary - if occasionally diplomatic - about the situation he found on his arrival in Sydney.] GA: You made a recording of the Sinfonia from the Bach Easter Oratorio. JT: I had been asked by [the conductor] Haydn Beck to record with the [Sydney Civic] Orchestra the Handel G minor Concerto and the Sinfonia from the Easter Oratorio of Bach. We played in a hall which was only [made] from corrugated iron. They used for the recording machines steel wire, the predecessor of a normal tape recording machine. We started to rehearse. We played it through and I said afterwards, So we ll start to record now? and he said, No, this is it. So I [had] played it once. I didn t even have music. We d played it through and that s on the record. GA: And that s the recording
153 THE DOUBLE REED 151 JT: Yes, that s the recording. GA: Let s hear it now. music GA: Jirí, by 1953 you were probably starting to miss orchestral playing, weren t you? JT: I did, indeed. GA: And this brought about your move to Melbourne to take up the post of principal oboe of what was then called the Victorian Symphony Orchestra but which is of course now the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. Tell us about going to Melbourne. JT: I was very happy in Sydney. There was nothing missing much, except the orchestral playing. I auditioned for Juan Jose Castro, the Argentinean composer, chief conductor of the Melbourne orchestra for several years at that time. I had played about three or four bars from the Sinfonia of the Easter Oratorio. Castro laughed and he said, That s enough, thank you. GA: You got the job. JT: I got the job. It was not as simple as that because I was not a member of the Victorian Branch of the Musicians Union, and at the last moment, when I was supposed to join the orchestra, there was instruction from the Union that, as soon as I entered the studio in Albert Street, the orchestra should leave the studio to protest that they are engaging a foreigner in a top position in the orchestra. In the last moment, a few principal players of the orchestra simply stated that if I will not be allowed to join the orchestra, they will resign. So there was no option, and I became a member of the Victorian Symphony Orchestra. GA: Common sense prevailed. We re going to hear another of your recordings, made in 1960, and I m very pleased that Vera, you re on this recording accompanying Jirí in a delightful Rondo by Handel. music GA: The early 50s was the time you got in touch with the Czech composer Bohuslav Martinů, to ask him to write an oboe concerto for you. JT: I found that after giving recitals in Australia people always asked me, Why don t you include something Czech in your program? and unfortunately I didn t have anything really suitable which would be musically good enough for such an occasion. So I wrote to Martinů, to America, and asked him to write something for me. That was rather daring but I thought we had something common: he was a member of the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra for ten years, playing second fiddle, and about thirty years later I was in the Czech Philharmonic playing the principal oboe. Two or three years later, 1954, he wrote, I have got an idea. I would like to write a concerto for you. In fact I have got it already in mind, but since it will take me two or three months to write it I would need some money to keep me going. I have no permanent position and I have to live. Through a friend of mine I managed to get 750 American dollars from the Daily Telegraph newspaper in Sydney. A friend of mine knew somebody there. I gave the world premiere in Sydney with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra under [Hans] Schmidt-Isserstedt, the German conductor. music GA: After eleven years in Melbourne, the call came from Adelaide. The legendary John Bishop was then Elder Professor of Music and Director of the Elder Conservatorium at the University of Adelaide, and he set about getting five players together to form a permanent wind quintet at the institution, which he did in Jirí, had chamber music been a large part of your life before this? JT: Well, I played a lot of chamber music in Melbourne, mainly. In Prague already I was a member of the Czech Wind Quintet, which was a newly-established ensemble, and I was of course a member of the Czech Chamber Orchestra. GA: The way the quintet was set up in Adelaide in 1964, you rehearsed in the mornings and you taught at the Conservatorium in the afternoons. JT: That was usually the routine, yes. GA: But as a quintet, you didn t give a concert for two years. JT: No. GA: That s an amazing commitment by today s standards, for you to establish a rapport JT: Yes, we felt if we want to be
154 152 THE TANCIBUDEK STORY successful, we have to be perfect. Indeed, the two years of hard, concentrated work brought fruit. We had two or three tours all over the world. We were the first chamber ensemble to go abroad from Australia. We had an excellent reception wherever we went. music GA: Jirí of course one of your main legacies is your teaching. Many of your former students are now prominent players or have other sorts of roles in the Australian musical world. There s a list of names here. I m going to mention Jeffrey Crellin, David Nuttall, Sharman Pretty, Peter Veale, Anne Gilby, Jonathan Dawe, Alison Stewart, Paul Miller, Rosemary Stimpson oboists and administrators who have all at one time or another been your students. [The majority of this list of names was provided off the cuff by Jirí immediately before the interview. It of course omits many other names and no offence was intended to those numerous other musicians whose names were not mentioned.] [The original conversation made mention of Vera s outstanding contribution to music education over the years, right from her arrival in Australia in She and Jirí originally lived in Mittagong, and Vera taught at Frensham School there. Jirí used to commute by train to Sydney to teach at the Conservatorium a couple of days a week. Vera s work as a piano teacher still continues to this day, and she is particularly remembered in Adelaide for her work as Head of Music at Norwood High School in the 1970s.] GT: A question to both of you: what makes a good teacher? VT: I would think you have to love it yourself, be enthusiastic, and manage to pass on that love or enthusiasm, and be pretty exact and strict so that they feel what they re doing is worth it. JT: And of course not only that we help the young people, but we are gaining ourselves. There is an old Latin proverb: Docendo dicimus - Through teaching, we learn. GA: Why the oboe, Jirí? What s the magic of that instrument for you? JT: Oh Graham, I was originally a violinist, but when I was about sixteen I attended a concert. In that concert the principal oboe, principal bassoon and principal horn were advanced students from the Prague Conservatoire. [In the Liszt Les Préludes] there is a tiny little episodic solo which is given entirely to the oboe; it s like a quasi little cadenza, a very sweet and beautiful oboe solo, as if the sun comes out from behind the clouds and suddenly appears. This boy, young Mikelši, played it so beautifully and so expressively that I could hardly bear it. It was so beautiful. I thought there was nothing more expressive and beautiful and nearest to the human voice than the oboe when it s played like that. So from that moment I was absolutely convinced: this is the most expressive, most beautiful voice I have ever heard, and I m going to play it even if I would have to kill myself. There is nothing that would stop me from playing it. [The sight of Jirí telling this story, eyes closed at the microphone, was very moving and will remain a treasured memory for me. I was also impressed that after nearly seventy years he could remember the student oboist s name.] GA: We have been talking today to Jirí and Vera Tancibudek. Thank you, not only for the roles you ve played in this program, but individually and together, thank you for the roles you ve played in enriching the cultural life of Australia. VT: Thank you very much. JT: Thank you. [Interview transcribed for the Australian Double Reed Society by Graham Abbott.]
155 THE DOUBLE REED 153 A Bassoon Lite, Please... The Vegetable Garden Alan Goodman Bedford, Wyoming IT PAYS TO BE AN EXPERT The community of Bedford, Wyoming is large enough to accommodate a vegetable garden, a Post Office that can hold three people -- providing they don t all attempt to turn at once -- and a stop sign. The stop sign is at the edge of town, placed there so as to not impede cow traffic through the center of town. Bill Cobert came over to my house the other day with an offer of gainful employment. Bill is the duly selfappointed mayor of Bedford. Al, said the Mayor. Mabel Thrope is thinking of enlarging the vegetable garden behind her house. And since she doesn t want to waste time on vegetables that won t work out she needs your help. Ummm, I said, listening with all the enthusiasm a third cup of morning-coffee could muster. Mabel Thrope was a nice old lady. On both days of summer, she could be seen out back of her place, near the post office, working rows of green tops sprouting from heavily-tilled soil. Well, Mabel thinks you re a choice-expert. Seems you once mentioned you were chairman of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra s audition committee. As this was one of the longer speeches he had given in a while, the mayor cleared his throat and washed his pipes with another swig of thick coffee. So, what s that got to do with Mabel Thrope enlarging her garden? Mabel occasionally handed out produce from her garden to citizens of Bedford -- me among them. She was a music enthusiast who envisioned one hundred musicians all going in the same direction at the same time, a misconception I hesitated to set straight. The mayor leaned forward. Mabel sent me over here to ask you if you would help in choosing some vegetables to see if they have what it takes to grow in her rocky soil. It would be kind of like choosing a couple of them musicians for the orchestra you been telling her about. She s willing to pay you for your time -- say, half-dozen cabbages, some carrots, and all the broccoli you can carry away come September? Gee, Mayor, I d be willing but I couldn t make those type decisions without a committee. Committee? The mayor looked puzzled. What kind of committee? Well, preferably a group of folks who don t know anything about vegetables, but who can argue about which ones grow best. Mayor Bill downed some coffee, looked off into the distance, scratched his clean-shaven chin and pondered the logic. You say, you need a committee that don t know a turnip from a carrot, and that s willing to sit around and jaw away on it? Yup. That s the way it works. You sure you know what you re doing? Mayor, you only get to be chairman of an audition committee if you have no idea what you re doing. If you knew what you were doing you wouldn t touch the responsibility with a ten-foot rake. Hmmmmmmmn, might be Mabel would be better able to make the choices herself seeing as she s done pretty good up to now on her own. Oh, as an expert in choosing, I d recommend against that. You have to always keep in mind that it s the process that s important. Last thing you want is to let knowledge interfere with the process. The committee is only the first safeguard against agreeable choices. Most symphony orchestras have a failsafe plan in case the committee stumbles across a decent choice. Mayor Bill looked into his cup as if he were looking for a trap-door leading out to his Chevy pickup. When he looked up and nodded, I reached across the table with the coffee pot and filled his cup. Maybe Mabel should stick with carrots and broccoli, he said. Like she s already done for as long as I can remember. What s this failsafe thing? What s that about? A conductor -- someone who knows less than anyone on the committee, costs more money than all the rest put together, and who has the final word. Mayor Bill, normally a pretty optimistic person, was looking mighty glum. We re only dealing with a vegetable garden here, Al. Chrissake, this is getting out of hand. Ahah, I think you re getting the idea now, Mayor. Once things get out of hand, you ve got the process working the way it should. Gee whiz, maybe I ll just go back to Mabel and tell her to plant what she wants. Hiring experts to deal with all this choosing just seems too damned much. Well, Mayor, you do that if you
156 154 A BASSOON LITE, PLEASE... want, but then all you d have to show for your work would be a lot a healthy vegetables come harvest-time. Mayor Bill gulped down the last of the coffee. With the cup squared on the table he grimaced like a man with a sudden stomach-ache. Well, sir, ain t that the point, picking the best vegetables for the garden? I could only shake my head in disbelief. Was it any coincidence that Bedford had the best tasting carrots you ve ever tasted in your life, and no big-time symphony orchestra? A Bassoon Lite, Please... Casting with Incompetent Perfection Alan Goodman Bedford, Wyoming LIFE IS WHAT HAPPENS TO YOU WHILE YOU RE CASTING ABOUT FOR A BETTER OFFER. Betty Goodman The line unfolded high above my head. Or at least it seemed that way with the soft-action fly-rod flexing lazily over the calm waters of the Salt River. I concentrated on nothing -- nothing at all. Simply laid the line slightly upstream so the imitation fly at the end floated by a likely place for a lurking trout. Cast. Watch. Lift. Cast. Watch. Lift. Say, pal. Something tugged at my leg where it disappeared from view below the water-line, about eight-feet out from the bank. Hey! Big guy! I m talking to you! The fishing had been great. Everything a man could ask for these last six hours. As good as the fishing had been, the catching had been slow. So slow, I had not even one bite all day. HEYYYYYYY!!!!! Look at me when I m talking to you! I looked around. No one within sight. Persistent tugging brought my eyes to the water. A trout the size of a small tuna looked back at me. My eyes grew wide. Don t get any ideas, Buster! You re surrounded! You re a talking fish?! I said, not quite sure. Yup. Now you got it. Name s Mr. Brown. And over there under that overhanging branch you ve been casting to all day is my Uncle Murray. I got to warn you Uncle Murray doesn t take kindly to people. He s what we call a cutthroat. Mr. Brown made a slashing motion across his throat with his sidefin. But me, I m a kind of live-and-let-live fish. Know what I mean? Uh, yeah. I guess so. Look we don t usually communicate to humans. They re too damned dumb to warrant the effort. An inferior species. Can t migrate upstream in fall, can t breathe under water, can t spawn properly, can t hang in schools without the help of regulations. Hopeless. Absolutely without regard for clean water. The kind of species that foul where they eat so to speak. Do I make myself clear? Uh sure. So, what s your name, fella? Al... Al Goodman. Pleased to meet you. Mr. Brown held a fin out of water. I shook it gently and brought my hand up quickly when a monstrous dark shadow loomed beneath the water on the other side of Mr. Brown. Easy, easy, Uncle Murray! I think he s harmless. We re just getting acquainted. Mr. Brown brought his attention back to me. It s Uncle Murray. He thought maybe you meant to net me or something. What would he do about it if I did? Mr. Brown shook his head. Oh, you remember that fisherman that disappeared three summers ago. Big fat cat who went out on the Snake River downstream a couple of miles from here? The kind with all the latest duds and equipment? Uh, I seem to remember reading about a fisherman that disappeared while fishing the narrows down there with a hired guide, yeah. Well, I can tell you where he is. Although Uncle Murray might get agitated by my just talking about it. Mr. Brown signaled me closer. In hushed tones he said, Seems the guy hooked Uncle Murray while he and his wife, Aunt Scales, were dining out in an elegant backwater. You know the place where Conductor s- Baton Creek flows into the Snake River? I nodded my assent. Well, that s where Uncle Murray took charge. Ripped the guy off the boat into the current and towed him five miles down to the dam. No kidding? Cross my dorsal and hope to fry. Fancy rod, reel and all. Wow. Yeah. You bet. Mr. Brown seemed like a decent fish. Hard to believe he had been party to such violence. He undulated slowly by my leg seemingly content
157 THE DOUBLE REED 155 to let the story sink in and ferment. So, to what do I owe this honor? I asked. I mean I ve been fishing here for weeks and I see I could have ended up like the fat guy with the fancy duds, given that I m a fisherman too. Oh, you don t have to worry, Mr. Brown said. We could see right off you were pretty incompetent. Your fly hits the water like a jet-propelled rocket. Your presentation couldn t fool a pollywog. You cast a shadow over the water that warns off even the dumbest frog. You wear torn waders, ripped boots. Naw! You re the kind of fisherman we like. Well, waiiiiiiit a minute here! I said. I ll have you know I caught a three pound.. A monstrous dorsal swirled one foot out from my feet. It could have been a crocodile for all the commotion it caused. Ahhhhh, a three-pound tree stump here several summers ago. It tasted quite good, particularly if you peeled the bark off and marinated the woodiness out with a garlic sauce. That s nice. I ve gnawed on some wood myself in hard times. Errr, ahh, say, Mr. Brown. Is there some particular reason you approached me today? Oh yeah, almost forgot. Uncle Murray sent me over here to ask if you d flail the water upstream about a hundred yards or so. Seems he s been trying to cat nap all day and you re keeping him awake. Oh, sure. Glad to accommodate. Thanks. I thought you would prove to be the cooperative type. By the way, Al, what do you do for a living that you can be fishing incompetently for so much of the summer? I m a retired bassoonist. Oh. You seem disappointed. Naw, just putting the pieces of the puzzle together. I imagined -- given your talent for fly-fishing -- you must have well-honed failure skills. Well, shucks, Mr. Brown. Thank you for recognizing my abilities. Good to know years of hard work show, even down here in the river. A lifetime mastering an incompetent instrument doesn t come without sacrifice. You start out with natural talent and an innate wish to play in-tune with a good sound. And only through years of diligent practice do you manage to rid yourself of those childish delusions. The bassoon is an exquisitely imperfect instrument only incompetence can conquer. But thankfully there are plenty of incompetent teachers out there to point the way. Yup, with a little perseverance and a lot of help you can bring a learned incompetence to a happy conclusion of bassoonistic imperfection. Of course, I never got quite incompetent enough to be a conductor. But, life has its disappointments. For sure, said Mr. Brown. Nothing like consistency in all endeavors. Ahhh, Al, do you by any chance know Handel s Water Music? After you catch nothing upstream a while maybe you can bring the bassoon back here and play for Uncle Murray. The Water Music is his favorite. I felt the weight of a very large object against my calf. Uh, sure. Whatever Uncle Murray wants. Mr. Brown nodded. We can bill it as a Trout -a-thon and invite some carp from the marshes. They usually go for shrill clarinets, but a little change in style might improve their diet. What say we charge a few bucks and split the gate? Or, maybe Uncle Murray will pay you off with a very expensive -- but soggy -- rod and reel. Know what I mean? Before I could answer he and Uncle Murray flashed some brown sides and were gone in a swirl of bubbling guffaws.
158 156 THE DOUBLE REED Reviews
159 REVIEWS BY RONALD KLIMKO McCall, Idaho Bassoon MUSIC REVIEWS NEW MUSIC FROM ALRY PUBLICATIONS J. S. Bach: Prelude No. 22 (from The Well Tempered Clavier, Book I) Arranged for Wind Quintet by Mark Popkin (Alry Publications, POB 36542, Charlotte, NC 28236; Tel: ; Fax: ; Website: (MP 21 $6.00 Score and parts ) In Volume 27, No. 4, 2004, of the Double Reed pp , I mentioned that his work, originally published by Theodore Presser, was at that time out of print. It has now been reprinted through Alry Publications and is now currently available. Georg Philipp Telemann: Bassoon Concerto in G Major, Transcribed for Bassoon and Piano by Mark Popkin (Alry Publications, MP 18, $20.00 Score and Parts) This is a wonderful transcription for bassoon and piano of a work originally for gamba, I believe. It is a Baroque concerto in four movements (Largo, Allegro, Andante, and Presto), and has been beautifully transcribed for the bassoon by Mark Popkin, with further editing by Nancy Johnston, and cadenzas provided by Prof. Truman Bullard. The opening Largo is a lovely, melodious Sarabande in 3/2, that concludes with a short, lyrical cadenza. The second movement Allegro is a spirited and lively fast movement with lots of opportunity to display technical skills. It also concludes with a cadenza. Perhaps the most beautiful movement of all is the third Andante in e minor, with another cadenza provided toward the end of the movement. The Presto finale is in Baroque binary form and once again provides the bassoonist with interesting technical passagework and a strong conclusion. All in all, I am very impressed with this transcription. I am considering performing it myself in the future. Technically it is about a III + to IV- in difficulty, depending on how fast THE DOUBLE REED 157 one would take the Presto movement. It is not very taxing rangewise, reaching only high b2 overall, however. But the work would be a nice, solid addition to any recital program. It could be particularly effective as an opening number. I recommend it strongly. FROM ACCOLADE MUSIKVERLAG Antonín Dvorák ( ): Sextet für Klavier und Bläserquintett nach der Serenade d-moll, op. 44 (Sextet for Piano and Wind Quintet after the Serenade in d minor, op. 44) Collection Mordechai Rechtman, Accolade Musikverlag (Gufferstrasse 18a D Warngau, Germany; Tel: ; Fax ; Website: ACC.R031 This is a beautifully transcribed rendition of the famous Dvorák Serenade in d minor, op. 44 for winds by bassoonist/arranger and IDRS Honorary Member Mordechai Rechtman. According to a letter from Mordechai, the work was commissioned by his son Ilan, who is a concert pianist and composer, who, along with his cellist-wife Iris, is living in Sâo Paulo, Brazil. His son wanted it as an alternate possibility to the Poulenc Sextet for the same combination of instruments. This version was premiered in Sâo Paulo on September 2, 2004, by Ilan and a wind quintet and is now available in this brand new publication from Accolade. Even if you have performed the original Serenade version of this work, you will want to get this new reworking of this classic wind piece. In looking over the bassoon part, for instance it is nothing like the original first bassoon part with the bassoon in this version borrowing and playing not only bassoon material, but some from the original clarinet and horn parts as well. Performing it would be a whole new experience. And yet, as always in his arrangements, Mordechai has still managed to capture the true spirit and romantic character of the original work. I recommend the work strongly for an active wind quintet looking for new (or newly arranged) music for their repertoire. CONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE REVIEWS
160 158 REVIEWS REVIEWS FROM INTERNATIONAL MUSIC CO. J. S. Bach: Twelve Chorales (Arranged for Four Trombones, Four Cellos, or Four Bassoons by Graham Bastable International Music Company (5 West 37th St., New York, NY 10018; Tel: (212) ; Fax: (212) ; Website: www. internationalmusicco.com) No ($24.00 for score and parts) This is a nice, useable collection of Bach chorales for bassoon ensemble. The compilation contains some of the more famous Bach chorales, such as Von Himmel Hoch from the Christmas Oratorio; Es ist Genug from Cantata #60; and Jesu Meine Freude from Cantata #81. Throughout the chorale melody is in the first bassoon part and ascends no higher than c2. The second bassoon part goes no higher than g1, and the third and fourth parts are limited in their range even more so. One irritation in the compilation is that all the parts are in the bass clef throughout, causing the first and second bassoonists to have to read a lot of ledger lines, more a nuisance than anything else. The final chorale Kyrie, Gott Vater in Ewigkeit, is the only extensive one-it is three score pages long compared to the other eleven chorales which are all one-pagers. In all this would be a nice useable collection for sightreading, or perhaps for some solemn, possibly religious occasion. MUSIC FROM Editions VIENTO Arthur Frackenpohl (b. 1924): Ballad and Waltz for Bassoon and Piano, EV 218a Arthur Frackenpohl (b. 1924): Ballad and Waltz for Bassoon and Harp, EV 218b Editions VIENTO (8711 SW 42nd Ave., Portland, OR 97219; Tel/Fax 503/ ; Website: ($8.50 Score and Parts) This work was originally conceived by composer Arthur Frackenpohl for his colleague at the Crane School of Music, bassoonist Frank Wangler and his wife, from which Frackenpohl retired in It is a very well written, light and gentle two movement work in a tonal style, with the Ballad moving directly into the lilting Waltz without a break. The music of the Ballad then becomes the basis for the music of the Waltz in an elaborated version. The key is A minor/c major generally throughout and the technical level is III+ with the bassoon ascending only to high c2. Considering the scarcity of music for bassoon and harp, this work could serve well as a nice, contrasting (or encore) piece on a recital program. Both versions would work well, with the harp part transcribing convincingly in the bassoon/piano version. Nice work. Arthur Frackenpohl (b. 1924): Waltz and Rag for Clarinet in Bf, Bassoon and Piano: EV 328 ($6.50 for Score and Parts) Dedicated to the Little River Trio, this is another enjoyable work from the fertile creativity of Arthur Frackenpohl. A very simple and straightforward Waltz in C Major is followed by a spirited, rhythmic Rag in the keys of C and F. The ABA form of the Waltz, after a final cadence, gives way to the classical A:/ B:/ (marchlike) form of the typical Rag. The writing for all three instruments is idiomatic and quite easy to play. The bassoon part ascends no higher than a2, and the technical level is II+ to III-. The whole composition could probably be played by any reasonably talented ensemble. Again, the piece could be very useable for either recital or informal performance occasions. As always, Frackenpohl has written well and convincingly for all the instruments involved. Júlio Medaglia: Piccolo Andante (a musical happening ) for Wind Quintet. Editions VIENTO EV 525 ($10.75 for Score and Parts) This is a curious work composed and dedicated to the Berlin Philharmonic Woodwind Quintet on the occasion of their fifteenth year anniversary. The detailed program notes describe a scene where the quintet is to appear onstage and, to their surprise, without the flutist, who finally can be heard offstage playing not the flute, but the piccolo. Despite being lured to the stage, first by the horn playing the famous excerpt from Strauss Don Juan; then the bassoon playing a passage from Donizetti s aria Una furtiva lagrima; and finally the clarinetist playing the first phrase of Tico-Tico, hoping the flute will answer with the second phrase, the flute player appears only after a while providing a long, extended virtuosic piccolo solo. Finally, following a short standoffish recitative, an Allegro section begins to Latin American rhythms. Even here, however, the piccolo player refuses to sit down with the ensemble and continues to walk around the stage finally disappearing offstage before the work
161 THE DOUBLE REED 159 comes to an inconclusive end. (The composer also gives the ensemble the option of beginning at the Allegro and eliminating the theatrical section entirely. For this version, he also provides an optional conclusive ending. In all, this could be a fun work to perform on an otherwise often staid wind quintet program. I recommend it for your consideration. At only $10.75 in cost, what have you got to lose?? Alexander Glazunov ( ): Concerto for Bassoon and Orchestra (originally for Alto Saxophone and Orchestra) Arranged for Bassoon and Piano by N. Zuyevicha) Editions VIENTO, EV 222 ($13.00 for Bassoon and Piano parts) Oh Boy! This could be a workout for an ambitious bassoonist. This well-known Concerto for alto saxophone belongs to what I consider to be a quite individualized type of music: saxophone music. Or to put it another way: see how many more notes per minute than the average mortal can play music. This fairly long, continuous one-movement work is certainly a classic for the saxophone and in this edition seems to transcribe reasonably well for the bassoon. To be sure, it is a strongly romantic work with lots of lovely melodies, surrounded by tons of rapid passagework. It is not overly taxing range-wise, rising to high d2 only toward the end of the work. I would have to place it as a solid Grade IV technically, however, simply because of the amount of time it might take to master all the intricate passagework. This piece would not be my cup of tea, but if you are a bassoonist proud of your notes per minute batting average, here is a challenge you might want to consider. Marc Antonio Ziani (c ): Laudate pueri for Soprano and Bass voices, Viola da gamba, Strings, Bassoon and Organ. Edited by James Mendenhall Editions VIENTO EV 715 ($45.00 Score and Parts) Based on research by Brandon, Manitoba bassoonist James Mendenhall, this work was discovered by him in the Österreichische Nationalbibliothek in Vienna and is published here with their permission. The work was probably performed at least 10 times between 1714 and 1737, based on notations on the title page. It is a large scale work in three movements, and would be a fine work for performance by a Musica Antiqua ensemble. The bassoon part is very easy and basically non-essential to the overall structure of the work, however. With few exceptions it is used throughout to merely double and enhance the more elaborate cello part in tutti passages. Be that as it may, it could still be an effective work, especially if performed by period instruments. J. S. Bach: Quoniam tu solus sanctus from the Mass in B Minor: Arranged for Five Bassoons with optional Keyboard, or Bass Voice, Horn and Three Bassoons by Gordon Solie. Editions VIENTO EV 605 ($10.75 for Score and Parts) This is an interesting work that can be performed in either configuration: for five bassoons and continuo, or for bass voice and four bassoons and continuo, or finally for bass voice, horn, two bassoons and continuo. Originally a bass aria from the Bach Mass, my personal inclination would be to perform it using the last-mentioned combination. The horn/bassoon part is quite high throughout, much more like a horn than a bassoon part, and the bass/bassoon voice part has an obvious vocal characteristic. Unfortunately the original text is not included in this voice/ bassoon part, so one would have to consult the original score to add the text to the vocal part. At any rate, arranger Gordon Solie suggests some possible interesting instrumental placements in the program notes which could make the performance of this work on a bassoon ensemble concert quite interesting. Six Short Pieces for Beginning Woodwind Quintet Arranged by Gordon Solie Editions VIENTO EV 516 ($6.50 for Score and Parts) This is a very nice comprehensive collection of short works suitable for a beginning junior high or high school wind quintet. They are arranged with the beginning student in mind from works by composers such as Dimitri Kabelevsky, Bela Bartok (2), Peter Tchaikovsky (2), and Robert McBride. They would make excellent works for the teaching of the principles of chamber music: cueing, intonation, balance, etc. It is really a bargain for this price for score and parts. I highly recommend it for you band directors looking for music suitable for your beginning ensembles. CONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE REVIEWS
162 160 Bassoon RECORDING REVIEWS REVIEWS recording and I recommend it strongly to all bassoonists. Mathieu s approaches to musical style and expression are well worth enjoying. Rating: 2 ½ Crows REVIEWS BY RONALD KLIMKO McCall, Idaho TWO NEW WIND MUSIC RECORDINGS REVIEWS François Devienne (Le Mozart français): Quatours Op. 73 pour Basson et Cordes Mathieu Lussier, basson, Olivier Thouin, violon; Jean-Luc Plourde, alto; Benoît Loiselle, violoncelle. ATMA Classique (Website: www. atmaclassique.com) ACD Montréal bassoonist Mathieu Lussier joins three string colleagues in this recording to provide us with a very spirited and finely recorded interpretation of all three of the Opus 73 Quartets for Bassoon and String Trio in this CD. Also included in the disc are the Romance and Rondo from Devienne s Concerto for Bassoon in Bf Major, and two extracts from the comic opera Les Visitandines (1795), these latter two works arranged by Mathieu, himself. The three Quartets include the most famous first one in C Major, the F Major number 2, as well as the less well known number 3 in G minor. Each is in three movements: fast - sonata form, slow - songlike, and rondo - finale or variation finale. There is a nice, facile, light-hearted, effortless, and often highly spirited quality to the recording that I like very much. Mathieu s bassoon style is also rather unique in that, with the possible exception occasionally in slow movements, he plays mostly sans vibrato. That is not to say that he does not play expressively; his playing is warm and rich, but subtly so, with lots of dynamic change. Often rather than hide behind vibrato, he will instead use cresc. or dim. on a sustained note to give it expressive interest appropriate to the musical phrase. This makes his overall style very clean and clear. I like that a lot. My personal taste would prefer more vibrato at times, especially in the slow movements, but this is my own feeling. I cannot fault Mathieu for his different, and still very effective approach. As is often the case when a recording features the music of just one composer, however, there is a bit of sameness from one work to another, and if anything, this recording suffers from that problem, despite the overall excellent quality of playing and recording technique as well as the comprehensive program notes in both French and English. Nevertheless, this is an excellent Quintette à vent Estria: Works by Grant, Chan, Macdonald, Lemay, and Gougeon (Kate Herzberg, fl ute, alto fl ute and piccolo; Étienne de Médicis, oboe; Pauline Farrugia, clarinet and bass clarinet; Nadia Labelle, horn; and Michel Bettez, bassoon. ATMA Classique ACD (Website: According to the excellent program notes in French and English accompanying this CD, the name of the group comes from the Estria or l Estrie region of the Easter Townships of the group s native city, Quebec. The music of the recording consists of new works by five Canadian, or Canadian-based composers. Wind Quintet, Opus 38 (1999) by oboist, composer, conductor Stewart Grant is a three movement work (Pastorale, Scherzo, Nocturne) which was jointly commissioned by the Quintette à vent Estria and the Ayorama Wind Quintet of Ottawa. The work is designed to show the composer s love of nature, opening and closing as it does in a contemplative mood and with a lot of bird and animal-like calls in the first movement. (I personally could hear influences of the famous Villa Lobos Quintet en forme de Choros in the first movement as well.) The overall style is conservative and non-experimental modernism. The more active Scherzo in the middle has a certain lyrical and contemplative style to it, as well as brevity which, along with the following quiet, closing Nocturne gives the entire work a rather slow paced feeling throughout. Nature for Quintette and Marimba (2002) by Chan Ka Nin, which follows on the recording, features marimba soloist Catherine Meunier and is a single-movement 16+ minute work commissioned by the Estria Wind Quintet. The work begins with a nice, natural forward impetus and drive in a pointillistic rhythmic structure which is very appealing. When the marimba enters it very naturally fits into this delicate texture and is initially almost obtrusive. A slower section follows, more lyrical but in an almost electronic-music style, with lots of overlay of sustained notes in a very colorful manner. This section then builds in intensity and
163 THE DOUBLE REED 161 rhythm once again, before yielding to a rather somber and quiet ending, featuring moaning winds in glissando patterns, and a final drum beat on the marimba. I really liked this work. It would be a challenge for a good quintet, but probably well worth the effort musically. Andrew Paul MacDonald s The Mechanics of Stardust Op. 63 (2003) for wind trio (oboe, clarinet and bassoon) is next on the CD. The 6+ minute work begins with an oboe solo over mulitphonics by the clarinet and bassoon, followed by multiphonics by all three instruments in a very electronic-like sound. Following a more melodic section two instruments provide a rhythmic background for the other in solofirst the oboe, then clarinet, then bassoon before the melodic section and then the multiphonics return, fading away to nothingness. I also liked the material of this work and would recommend it strongly. Débâcle for Wind Quintet (1998) by Robert Lemay is the following work. It has the clarinet switching to bass clarinet and the flute to alto flute from time to time. However, it is also one of those universal atonal works that seem to go nowhere - there is no feeling of forward motion most of the time - just splotches of mostly unrelated globs of notes lacking both interest and color that seem to go on forever. It is a long 10 ½ minutes in length. To my way of thinking, Arnold Schoenberg and perhaps even more creatively, Gunther Schuller did all this before. Why bother re-doing it? 4 Jeux à5 (2001) by Denis Gougeon is the final work on the CD. The four movements are marked jeux de miroirs; à la manière d un kaléidoscope; lent et lyrique; and comme une danse. The work provides an interesting variety of motions and colors throughout: pointillistic and rhythmic with a lot of unison rhythmic outbursts in the first movement; minimalistic in a kaleidoscopic manner in the second; slow and lyrical (again somewhat electronic-like in a sustained manner in the third; and very spirited and dance like in compound meter in the final movement. At 17 minutes in total length, this is another interesting major work well worth the consideration of any wind quintet enthusiast. I recommend this interesting, new CD strongly-especially to wind quintet players (who are always on the search for new material). On this recording you will find both likeable and, to me, unlikeable new works. I will leave it to the listeners to decide for themselves. Rating; 2 ½ Crows Sunlight and Shadows: New Works by Leonard Ball, Jr., Adrian Childs, John Corina, William Davis, Lewis Nielson and Roger Vogel. University of Georgia Woodwind Quartet (Angela Jones-Reus, fl ute; Dwight Manning, oboe; D. Ray McClellan, clarinet; and William Davis, bassoon) ACA Digital Recording, Inc. (PO Box , Atlanta, GA 31145; Tel. (404) ) ACA CM Like the previous CD, this recording features all brand new compositions, this time by six different composers. Moreover, all these works date from after now that is brand-new! Two of them are dedicated to former members of the University of Georgia music faculty: the late Theodore Jahn and Ronald Waln. The opening work is a lively 15+ minute work by Leonard V. Ball, Jr. entitled the promise of sunlight thru treetops...on a winter s morning (2002). Much of the work relies on normal trills, slow downward trills, chromatic runs, and passages in rapid imitation of one another in the beginning - lots of chirping, etc. The middle section becomes more lyrical, but still with a certain restlessness, highlighted by more trills and tremolos which lead back to the chromatic runs that opened the work-all in all a pretty busy piece for a winter s morning! Shadows Numberless (2002) by Adrian P. Childs is the following work, which, like the previous one, is a single movement composition - this time over 13 minutes in length. By contrast, however, this one begins quietly with long, sustained melodies between the four instruments, which gradually increase in intensity before fading away - cleverly ending with the bassoon tonguing low notes on the bocal without the reed. Unfortunately, after this promising beginning, the work degenerates into a lot of chirping similar to the one before it. Homage is also paid to Eliot Carter s Eight Etudes and a Fantasy with a section that throws a single note back and forth between instruments in a klangfarben-like manner. Kaleidoscopic use of klangfarbenmelodie technique is used a lot in this composition, along with some minimalistic techniques as well. The work ends with the bassoon drum-taps of tonguing on the bocal while fingering low notes. This makes for a more interesting work, in my opinion, than the previous one; although both suffer from being too long to cover the sparseness of the musical material - a little bit of both works would have served them both better, I feel. John Corina s In Paridisum (In Memoriam Theodore Jahn) for woodwind quartet with handbells (2002) is the next work. Unlike the previous works, it is shorter and more lyrical, REVIEWS
164 162 REVIEWS REVIEWS consisting of five fairly brief movements in a variety of moods. In the third movement the ensemble plays handbells to accompany a clarinet solo of a plainsong chant. The pitches of the bells, d, c, c, d, a are derived in solfeggio from the vowel sounds in Theodore Jahn s name. Theodore Jahn was the clarinetist in the University of Georgia Wind Quintet in the years from 1967 to 1991, when composer John Corina performed as oboist. It is a very touching movement and forms the centerpiece of the work. The final two short movements sound like a kind of backward version of the first two, with related musical material, especially the plainsong which ends the work with the bells being used again. I found this composition to be very delicate and moving in a very impressive way - a wonderful memorial to Theodore Jahn. Impromptu and RONdo (1999) by bassoonist/ composer William Davis is dedicated to Ronald Waln, a longtime colleague and fellow faculty member at the University of Georgia. The opening movement uses special effects extensively in all instruments: quarter tones, multiphonics, pitch bends, muffled timbres. At the end of the Impromptu the bassoonist must circular breathe through a long trill over extensive passages by the other instruments that end the movement. The RONdo is a fast tour-de-force for all four instruments. Despite the 6/8-3/4 motion of the last movement there are apparently senza misura or unmeasured passages for all the instruments in both movements. After a short middle section quoting material from the first movement the finale ends strongly and dramatically. At 10+ minutes, this work is a fiery and brilliant showpiece for winds and I recommend it strongly to wind players looking for interesting new music to play. Alito, gémito (2001), the title for the next work by Lewis Nielson (b. 1950) means breathe, groan in Italian. The composer insists in the program notes that it is not a programmatic (pictorial or literary) title, but that the work instead is put together basically of tones unconventionally produced: multiphonics, various tremolos, pitch bends, key slaps, blowing through parts of the instrument, etc. The form that emerges is free and relative only to the relation of the pitches to one another. I confess I like the piece. It is really quite colorful and constantly changing throughout, which enables it to hold ones interest better than many contemporary works. It could perhaps be a bit shorter. But for the most part it really works! I particularly liked the quiet ending. The final work on the CD is Winter Winds (2002) by Roger C. Vogel (b. 1947), which is published by Howard J. Buss Publications (B921). In two movements and a total of almost 15 minutes length, it is an extensive work, written in a traditional atonal but non-pointillistic style, utilizing standard elements of imitation and thematic development. It has both dramatic and forceful rhythmic sections and more lyrical sections as well. I was less impressed with this work, however. It sounded like the preparation of it would be a lot of work for a result that seemed less valuable than the effort it would take. Again, this is my own opinion. The recording technique of this CD is excellent throughout. These six composers are very fortunate to have such high quality performances of their works by this talented ensemble. I recommend the recording strongly to those of you especially who are interested in contemporary music and/or are looking for good, new music to perform. There s a TON of it on this CD! Rating: 2 ½ Crows REVIEW BY MICHAEL FINKELMAN Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Oboe RECORDING REVIEWS PICTURES Joanne Walter, oboe and cor anglais Marc Unkel, piano (H6ln: Topaz Music 022), 2002 available via: It is not often in this day and age that one encounters a young composer of genuine ability, much less one whose knowledge of music history and literature is as finely honed as his compositional ability. Such a rara avis is Marc Unkel (b. Bonn, 1967), a product of the Cologne Conservatory, whose activity as a composer began, very early. His works have been published by Darok Edition, Leverkusen. An accomplished pianist, he has performed widely in Europe from England to Austria. In the present CD, he joins his talents as composer and pianist with that of his wife, British-born oboist Joanne Walter, whom he met during her graduate studies in Cologne with
165 THE DOUBLE REED 163 Prof. Christian Schneider. Ms. Walter had done her undergraduate work at the Royal Academy in London with Tess Miller and Celia Nicklin, graduating in 1992, at which time she was awarded a grant enabling her to pursue graduate study abroad. She has since appeared as soloist in numerous locations on the Continent with leading chamber orchestras, and as recitalist with her husband in England, France and Germany as well as at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. She has performed as principal oboist of a number of European orchestras, including the Philharmonia Hungarica, and is presently solo English horn of the Solingen Symphony in Germany. The programming on this recording, clearly conceived by Herr Unkel (who resides in a town of the same name, near Bonn) is extraordinary, both from the musical and historical viewpoint. He is, among other things, extremely well versed in the music of Carl Loewe ( ), the great German lieder composer, who in his later years had close alliances with the town of Unkel. The program begins appropriately with the op. 94 Romanzen (1949) of Robert Schumann, the staple oboe recital item in the German Romantic idiom, now thought to have been written partially (or entirely) bv Clara Schumann, whose stupendous gifts as a performer all but totally obscured her work as a composer. These familiar pieces form a fine prelude for what is to come, most of which is anything but familiar. There follows Unkel s transcription for oboe and piano of three choice items from Loewe s extensive vocal catalogue: the Edward-Ballade, op. 1 of 1824, and two works from the 1860s: the Legende Santo Spirito, op. 143 and the Altschottische Ballade, op, 135. Despite emanating from vastly different periods in the composer s output, they work very well together indeed, forming a fresh and effective suite. Next on tap is an original work by Marc Unkel, his op. 35 Pictures (the original title being in English, also taken for the CD S cover title, and the theme of this essentially programmatic recital). Based on a melody by Loewe, and reflecting Scottish and Spanish landscapes as depicted in various paintings, this brief piece was first performed in 2002 at Unkel Castle, located next to the villa where Loewe visited his daughter. This very effective tonal composition, though it employs some modern devices, is well in keeping with the idiom at the core of the program. Brilliantly written for English horn and piano, it forms a most effective contrast to what has already been heard and what is to come. The next item is Loewe s Schottische Bilder (Scottish Scenes), op. 112, of 1850, one of the composer s very few recital works for any instrument other than solo piano. Originally for C-clarinet with piano, the music, with minor adjustment, sounds very well on oboe. The composition, dedicated to the composer s Scottish son-in-law, is an excellent example in chamber form of the descriptive program music so much favored in the period of its genesis. It is interesting indeed to realise that this suite of pieces was written at the same time as Schumann s romances, and long before the Schumann pieces had received a public hearing. Another score by Marc Unkel is next heard, his op. 31 R(h)einklänge 2000, for English horn and piano, a work commissioned by the Rhine Art Festival in that year, and first perfomed by the two artists heard here. The title is a play on the words Rhein (Rhine) River and reine Klänge, a reference to the pure (reine) intervals of the perfect fourth and fifth which are considerably in evidence in this appealing suite, consisting of a brief Elegie, Nocturne and Toccata. Following this is another Loewe transcription by Herr Unkel, this of the op. 96 Biblisches Bild, for English horn and piano. This biblical tone-picture, based on Luke 24:28-29, was originally a piano piece, one of a large corpus of little-known keyboard music by this composer, whose university studies were devoted to theology, and who spent part of his distinguished career as a church musician. As with Unkel s other work in this genre noted above, the transcription here is so natural and convincing that the result sounds very much like a composition originally conceived for the instrumentation used. Next heard is Marc Unkel s Zwei Fantasiestücke, op. 28, for oboe and piano, written specifically for Ms. Walter and first performed by them in Bonn, and soon later in London. The two movements (Andante and Allegro) form a spirited contrast in a composition not only well written for the pair of instruments, but fine music in general which simply happens to be for this combination. This in fact characterises all of Herr Unkel s work in this collection, be it original or arranged. His accompanying is also exemplary, with not only fine tone, but the true ensemble sensibility which distinguishes the knowing accompanist from the pianist simply assigned to this task. The recital concludes as it began, with Schumann, in this case his Adagio and Allegro, op. 70, originally for horn, and first recorded on oboe some years ago by Holliger. This forms an effective finale to a quite unusual, distinguished and refreshing program. Here is an oboe recital recording not just for REVIEWS
166 164 REVIEWS REVIEWS oboists but for music lovers in general to enjoy. It contains a delightful and unusual combination of the old and the new, finely presented and accompanied by an attractive booklet with photos of the performers and excellent liner notes. This is a first-class effort well worth obtaining not only by interested oboists but by libraries desiring to acquire something of real value for their collections. Highly recommended! Oboe BOOK REVIEWS REVIEW BY MICHAEL FINKELMAN Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Jerry L. Voorhees: The Development of Woodwind Fingering Systems in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries. Hammond, LA: Voorhees Publishing Co., 2003.([xii], 230 pp., paperback, 103 technical drawings, 132 schematic diagrams. ISBN ) $50 This is the first serious attempt to classify woodwind fingering systems on the basis of their structure and operation rather than their association with a particular instrument, period, builder or performer. It is also the first attempt to provide a... complete set of diagrammatic illustrations of... woodwind mechanisms. Thus the author of this volume, a teacher and performer on all of the woodwinds, introduces his work (p. ix). He begins with acknowledgements to the major public collections visited and to such noted private collectors as Philip Bate, Rosario Mazzeo, Tony Bingham and William Waterhouse. He also thanks those who provided useful organological consultation, including Bate, Anthony Baines and Lyndesay Langwill. (Sadly, none of these three nor Prof. Mazzeo lived to see the fruits of his work.) Mr. Voorhees previous published work in this area includes a 1976 Galpin Society Journal article on Boehm-system bassoons, and a 1980 monograph on flute fingering systems of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, so it is clear indeed that his interest in the subject is of long standing. It is equally clear that the present remarkable effort is the product of many years of patient research and thoughtful consideration of the matters examined. The first part of the book, comprising chapters one through four, begins with a brief historical overview of the subject, from the point of view of general musical history. The author notes (p.1) that the development of woodwind instruments, like the development of many other things, did not follow a smooth progressive course, but proceeded in an alternating series of relatively quiet times interspersed with eras of revolutionary change. He then outlines these changes and the forces producing them in succinct fashion. It was only after a goodly number of these manifestations had occurred that major technological change came to the woodwind instruments, beginning at the close of the 18th century. Growing demands by composers writing far more chromatically than they had, parallelled by a concurrent migration from just to tempered intonation in performance resulted in a desire for the winds to be able to play in all tonalities, which had not previously been the case. This was the principal impetus for the addition of keys to the woodwinds which began at this time. By the early 19th century, the science of acoustics had advanced sufficiently to be able to aid in this effort in a significant way, and a maker such as Theobald Boehm used this growing knowledge in conjunction with practical experience in producing instruments of a kind which had not previously existed. Over the years, his principles were widely applied in woodwind manufacture. It is indeed with these transformations in the hundred-year period circa that this book is principally concerned. The innovators work of circa is in fact the point of departure here, the distinguishing feature of the woodwinds produced from this point on being that they have interactive systems of keys, rather than the single-action mechanisms previously used. The author notes that the subsidiary instruments of the woodwind group (piccolo, English horn, bass clarinet, contrabassoon, baritone saxophone, etc.) are not considered in this study, as this would have expanded the volume to an impractical size. He observes (p.4) that the liklihood of further mechanical development of woodwind fingering systems is now very slight, and so, at the present juncture it is possible to say that this examination is a nearly complete view of woodwind mechanical technology from beginning to end, (Whether this is in fact the case, only time will tell.) Chapter Two examines the acoustics of early woodwinds. The fundamental aspects of this are presented here with extraordinary clarity, plainly based upon considerable practical expe-
167 THE DOUBLE REED 165 rience. These characteristics and their raisons d étre are then elaborated on the specific bases of flutes, oboes, clarinets, bassoons and saxophones, with similarities and distinctions between these woodwind families carefully noted. This chapter forms a very succinct summary of a rather complex subject. Notable in the analysis provided here regarding the oboe (p.10) is that it is probably the woodwind most sensitive to unauthorized openings in the bore. Oboes tend to turn nasty acoustically when provided with large tone holes and extra vents. Because of this characteristic... some oboe makers tried to... devise mechanisms by which any extra holes would be [held] closed unless needed, i.e. the polar opposite of Boehm s full venting concepts. In a somewhat remarkable parallel, the author notes here(p.12), more than that of any other woodwind, the tone of the bassoon has been acoustically suppressed. It is possible to improve a bassoon s fingering system, but combining mechanical improvements with a fully vented tube inevitably results in an instrument which does not sound like a bassoon. The suppression must be maintained. Chapter Three now considers in detail the basic mechanisms used on the woodwinds, and usefully clarifies the denominations used in describing same throughout the book, while furnishing the historical background and technical function of these appliances and their constituent parts. Here again, a number of relatively complex concepts are presented in such a way that the non-technical reader can readily comprehend what occurs (often outside of the eye s view) on these instruments. Chapter Four advances to assemblies of these mechanisms as they are applied to the instruments in question, including how they operate and why they were used. Noted is Frederick Nolan s work of 1808: the first use of a brille key, and the many important technical advances this spawned. The brille makes it possible to add open tone holes to improve chromatic notes, and to control the extra keys thus required without moving the fingers from their home positions. The clutch mechanism devised by Auguste Buffet is then considered: this was the next big step in woodwind key system development. Opposing springs and their functions in these complex assemblies are then treated, along with the rocker mechanisms which are often used to join these contrivances in different ways. This is undoubtedly the most succinct explanation of these matters that has ever appeared in print. As the author notes in concluding Part I (p.28), These four... sub-assemblies brilles, clutches, opposing springs and rockers along with finger holes and simple keys provide the building blocks... for woodwind key systems, the development [of which resides in] combining these devices... and adapting them to the requirements of a particular instrument. Part Two, encompassing chapters five through thirteen, now examines the application of these mechanisms as they operate in functional examples. Chapter Five analyses the right-hand keys, tone-holes and mechanisms covered by this hand without separating matters by instrument, the author explaining this as unnecessary, and involving considerable needless repetition. The basic principles here, including considerations of intonation, timbre and compensating keywork designed to correct faults in these characteristics apply equally to all woodwinds. There are four basic right-hand configurations: simple, non- Boehm, Boehm, and what the author has termed either-or, i.e. right-hand components operable either as Boehm or non-boehm. Explained here is not only how but why the keywork as devised for this hand was necessary. Chapter Six then covers similar matters for the left hand, although this is a far more complex matter. Among the topics dealt with here is the Barret-action oboe, a left-hand consideration. The principal left-hand configurations are: simple, German, Barret or Boehm. (The Barret system was of course realised by Triébert.) Chapter Seven covers the Gs mechanism, which is not an integral part of either the rightor left-hand components. The various means (and they are many) that makers have used to overcome the inherent problems in this note and its consequences/effects elsewhere on the instrument are discussed in detail, taking into account the work of Boehm, Dorus and Pupeschi in this area. Chapter Eight considers extension keys, normally controlled by the small fingers of each hand. On bassoons, however, these are preponderantly controlled by the thumbs. (Mr. Voorhees chooses to assign these a separate term, and treat the matter in the following chapter.) The amazingly large complex of particulars pertaining to this subject is dealt with as succinctly as possible, not neglecting some important historical references, such as that on page 59, which explains the reversed pattern of the C and Ef keys on oboes (F and Gs on bassoons). A useful summary of these matters closes the chapter, where the author also notes (p.66) the extraordinary diversity of systems devised to solve essentially the same set of problems. Chapter Nine deals with what the author terms sub-extensions, i.e., extension mecha- REVIEWS
168 166 REVIEWS REVIEWS nisms for notes below the normal instrumental range, operated either by the thumbs or the small fingers. Apart from the lower clarinets not integral to this study, the only modern orchestral instruments employing sub-extensions are bassoons. These, as the author notes (p.59) are [the] exceptions, for their range extends considerably below the other woodwinds, not only in an absolute sense, but also by comparative analogy (emphasis added). This is another way of saying that bassoons are the only instruments here considered which have need of these appurtenances. The examination of this matter is chronological, dealing principally with the development of fully chromatic bassoons through the evolution of specialised keywork. The French system in this respect was designed by Jancourt, and built by Buffet and Triébert, the German designed by Almenraeder, working first at Schott, then of course with J.A. Heckel. Their 1831 merger forms the effective starting point for the instruments specifically examined in the last part of this volume. Chapter Ten, in its turn, deals with upward extensions, keyed above the left-hand component, and found only on clarinets and saxophones. (The other woodwinds use harmonic fingerings to achieve these notes, i.e. no special added keys are involved.) Closed keys for alternate fingerings and trills, the subject of Chapter Eleven, were developed early on in woodwind manufacture as a means of avoiding the often very awkward patters required when using conventional fingerings, both in rapid passage work and trilling, and perhaps most importantly in passages over the break area on all woodwinds. This leads naturally to a discussion of register mechanisms, the subject of Chapter Twelve. The conical bore woodwind, including oboes and bassoons, are distinguished from the other instruments in this family by the multiplicity of their register vents, a requirement of their bore characteristics. Simple, semi-automatic and fully automatic register systems are considered here, with discussion of their advantages and shortcomings. Peculiar to the oboe of course is the vent embodied in the half-hole over left-hand one, while the bassoon has its unique whisper key, which is a special case unlike any normal form of register vent. The chapter closes with a summary discussion of the Triébert-Marzoli bassoons, which have no fewer than eight such vents. (Only five of these instruments are extant.) In conclusion (Chapter Thirteen), the author notes (p.92) that no serious scientific evaluation of the efficiency of woodwind mechanisms has ever been attempted, nor has a set of criteria been devised for making such judgements. He believes, as noted above, that further development for woodwinds along mechanical lines at this stage is unlikely. He views the present period as a watershed similar to three earlier revolutionary times in wind instrument history, the first embodied in the change from Medieval practice to Renaissance consort, which eliminated a great many of the earlier instruments, the second the change from Renaissance consort to the Baroque orchestra, which again caused the extinction of a whole range of instruments, and finally, the rise of modern musical style in the early nineteenth century, which caused the need for keyed woodwind, the subject of this book, and the obsolescence of Baroque and Classical woodwind. He now sees the present era of electronic development as the latest in this series of ongoing changes, and expresses doubt that the nineteenth-century instruments we are so used to will weather this storm. This book thus comes at a timely moment, when yet another technological revolution is upon us, one which may cause the instruments to which we are accustomed to be swept into desuetude, as in previous such eras. The material in the first two parts of this volume not only serves as an unusually clearlywritten summary history of woodwind mechanical theory and manufacture, it familiarises the reader with descriptive terminology (most of it well-established, some devised by the author) which will be used throughout the final section of this work. The reader is thereby well prepared for what is to follow. Part Three of the book offers mechanism diagrams preceded by an explanation of the graphing techniques and the denotative symbols used. These graphs are basically elaborated versions of diagram types used by Heckel for more than a century, and as such are essentially self-explanatory, though a considerable proportion are of formidable complexity. All but the simplest include discussion of the technical particulars and characteristics of the instrument, and all indicate the source (museum, private collection, or literary) of the specimen, as well as the fingering type of the right- and left-hand components, following the forms designated in previous chapters. Fifty flute diagrams open this section, illustrating an astounding variety of types and some exceptionally inventive ideas. Oboes are next, with twenty-one diagrams, from a relatively simple Système 3 Triébert through some unusual early 20th-century models, including an oboesaxophone. Clarinets follow, with twenty-nine
169 THE DOUBLE REED 167 examples. Bassoons are next in line, with twenty-three diagrams, beginning with an Almenraeder instrument from circa , through the extreme complexities of the Triébert-Marzoli model. The final component here (nine diagrams) covers saxophones and related instruments. The patience and skill required in executing these illustrations was clearly considerable, as also had to be the outlay of time involved. The accompanying texts are for the most part relatively brief, outlining the salient technical details of each specimen. In some cases, however, there is fairly extended discussion of the advantages and liabilities present in a given design. (It is quite clear in some instances that the author had the opportunity to play on the specimen in question.) A number of interesting historical notes are also supplied with cetain examples here. There are two brief appendices. The first considers the radical instruments designed and built by Giorgi and Schaffner in Italy in the late 19th century. A handful of such specimens survive in European collections, and represent an acoustical experiment without precedent or following. Neither the mechanical designs nor the acoustical characteristics of these highly unusual woodwinds represented a substantive advance of any import in instrument making, although the extraordinary mechanisms involved are truly amazing both in design and execution. (The present writer has examined an oboe of this type in Brussels.) Mr. Voorhees provides detailed diagrams of a flute, oboe and clarinet of this type. The second appendix discusses the work of the very little-known Munich maker Benedikt Pentenrieder. The author provides his own graphic realisations of this maker s experimental flute and oboe designs of 1840, of which no specimens appear to be extant. A brief biographical index of important personages in woodwind history mentioned in the text is then provided, and a brief source bibliography closes the volume. A general index here would have enhanced the usefulness of this book, but its absence in this case is not a major detriment. This is a remarkable treatise, which although incorporating a certain proportion of previous documentation on the topic, consists very largely of original research. Notable in this regard is that in charting new territory in the technical domain, it also establishes fresh understanding in the area of organological history, something the author clearly took care to do. As with any such trailblazing effort, there are inevitably some gaps in the documentation as well as various small errors; however, the former are relatively few and the latter insignificant in light of the major contributions made here. Although there is some room for improvement in the narrative text and that accompanying the diagrams, this is none the less a quite exceptional document, particularly given the dearth of comparable previous literature. Mr. Voorhees possesses the admirable characteristic of a clear and easy style, combined with a desire for comprehensivity and solid method not easily achieved, especially when dealing with a subject of such inherent complexity. The printing is dark and clear, misprints few and unimportant, and the paper chosen of reasonable opacity, limiting show-through to a tolerable level. The tome is not sewn in signatures, and perforce only glue-bound into heavy paper backing. Given this, the text block will need reinforcement and hard binding if it is to withstand institutional use. The transformations in woodwind key system technology over the past 150 or so years covered by this work have been many and of amazing complexity. It is here for the first time that this difficult subject has been properly documented. The results of this extraordinary effort are not only most enlightening, but frequently quite surprising. The present volume is a long overdue and sorely needed addition to the literature which will serve not only as an invaluable reference for museum curators and collectors, but as well for historians and performers. For those unfamiliar with woodwind matters, it will form an excellent technical survey of the entire subject. This book is a pathfinding achievement which will undoubtedly form the basis for future woodwind technical research. As such, it belongs in every music research and instrument museum library, and on the shelf of every woodwind collector and enthusiast. CONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE REVIEWS
170 168 Reed PRODUCT REVIEWS REVIEWS which is stationary. On top of the right-hand shaft is a battery operated digital counter with two controls: an on-off button, and a button to zero out the counter prior to testing the piece of cane. (See figure 1). REVIEW BY RONALD KLIMKO McCall, Idaho REVIEWS Flexter : Bassoon Cane Flex Tester (Reeds n Stuff, Adam-Reis-Strasse 16, D , Annaberg, Germany; Tel: +49 (0) ; Fax: ; Website: When retired automotive engineer and amateur bassoonist Jim Poe wrote his landmark article: Cane Hardness and Flexibility: Related Measurements Leading to Better Bassoon Reeds, which appeared in the 2003, Vol. 26, No. 2 (pp ) of The Double Reed, I, personally, was fascinated by his findings and the premise of his article. Roughly stated this premise contends that if one is able to measure the relative hardness and flexibility of a piece of gouged bassoon cane, one can reasonably predict as to whether it will yield a good (free blowing, responsive, etc.) reed or not. I was particularly fascinated by the machine that Jim had invented to measure flexibility: a relatively simple device that enables the tester to twist a piece of cane with a weight and, using a simple protractor attached, measure the degree of flexibility of the individual piece of cane. I contacted Jim, visited him in Michigan on my way to the IDRS Conference at West Virginia in 2003, and, with some gentle arm twisting, got Jim to make me a flexter, as he named it. I have been testing my cane ever since with a hardness tester and his flexter with excellent results. I refer you to his article to ascertain the parameters Jim discovered for an excellent bassoon reed. Since 2003, Jim has teamed up with Udo Heng of Reeds n Stuff to design and create a digital model of the Flexter, and this is the product I will review in this article, as well as relating and comparing it to my own non-digital version from Jim. First of all, the Flexter is a beautifully made machine. It is mounted on a wooden base and consists of two shafts with a rounded horizontal rod and a clamp, upon which the piece of cane can be mounted. The right-hand shaft has a lever attached to its rod, which is capable of rotating, as opposed to the rod of the left-hand shaft, Figure 1 After the piece of cane is mounted on the two rods and clamped down, the tester merely adds the provided weight to the lever on the left-hand shaft, the cane is flexed, and the counter provides a digital readout of the exact degree of twist. (See figure 2.) Right now the machine is set up to measure pieces of cane 12 cm in length, but the left-hand shaft is capable of being moved left or right and so longer or shorter pieces of cane could be measured as well. Figure 2 The word exact is very important here. In testing the Flexter, I used pieces of cane that had already been tested on my Poe-made version. Every piece measured LESS degrees of twist (generally anywhere from.2 to 4.7 degrees of twist less) than my own machine. This could be explained by the difference in the weight between the two instruments. It also points out how less accurate my non-digital version is, where I have to eyeball the protractor for the degree of twist and record the results. (I also have to be careful that the piece of cane is mounted on the rods and the protractor is on zero before I begin - something that is not an issue on the digital version.) With the digital version there