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.
- F Piccolo Oboe
- 4 Oboes
- Oboe d’Amore
- 2 English Horns
- Bass Oboe
- Alto Bassoon
- Tenor Bassoon
- 4 Bassoons
- 2 Contrabassoon
(General MIDI edition with score)