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Three Thoughts for Woodwind Quartet


            I.  Fast and syncopated

            II. Lento

            III. Andante; vivace

Writing my first woodwind quartet in late fall of 2008/early 2009 proved to be a far more intricate (and ultimately, rewarding) challenge than I had originally envisioned. Each member of the quartet had a unique voice, different from other homogeneous ensembles I had worked with previously.

Some thoughts on each of the movements: the first begins with syncopated octatonic statements in the bassoon, clarinet and flute until they are interrupted, briefly, by the melodic oboe line that makes several reappearances. The second movement is characterized by a slow, rich line in the clarinet and swelling dynamic statements around it. As I was writing the main theme for this movement, I closely associated the idea of "hope" with that particular melodic line. In the third movement, the theme has several very personal meanings to me, expressed by the transformations it undergoes. It continuously contrasts its early romantic qualities against a syncopated, Elliott Carter-inspired half-step process in each of the voices that recurs throughout the piece. 

This piece was premiered on March 1st, 2009 by Stephanie Castongia (flute), Laura McCormack (Oboe), Mike Harris (Clarinet) and Julie Hill (bassoon).

Brian Spicklemire,
Apr 28, 2011, 6:28 PM
Brian Spicklemire,
May 3, 2011, 8:24 PM