Symphony (1) for Double Reeds

Over the years, I’ve started 7 symphonies, but, to date, this is the only symphony I’ve completed.  In some regards, it’s the least symphonic of all the symphonies I’ve attempted, as it is a single long movement and scored entirely for an ensemble of double reeds.

I wrote the piece fairly quickly in perhaps six weeks’ time.  The impetus was visiting the International Double Reed Society’s annual convention in 2006.  I was surrounded by double reed players of all calibers.  A year earlier, at the convention, I heard a live performance of Grainger’s rarely performed Hill Song 1 for a large double reed ensemble (and a few Piccolos for good measure) and was stuck by the sororities that came from the ensemble.

While at the conference, I had the opportunity to play and hear many of the more obscure members of the oboe and bassoon families and decided to include them all in a single work.

The work has multiple sections that function like separate movements but all flow together.  Each section has a different character: pastoral, romantic, dance-like, agitated, etc.

Instrumentation

  • F Piccolo Oboe
  • 4 Oboes
  • Oboe d’Amore
  • 2 English Horns
  • Bass Oboe
  • Alto Bassoon
  • Tenor Bassoon
  • 4 Bassoons
  • 2 Contrabassoon

(Performing edition)

(General MIDI edition with score)

 

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