Concerto for Bassoon - BSN/PN
Composer: Walker, Gwyneth
Publisher: Lauren Keiser Music Publications
for bassoon and piano
by Gwyneth Walker (b. 1947) - American composer
The three movements of the Concerto for Bassoon and Strings focus on three distinct sets of characteristics often associated with the Bassoon: bouncy and light, lyrical and expressive, rhythmic and assertive.
The first movement, "A Light Touch", is marked "with a joyous lilt". The bassoon enters, bouncing down the scale, and then jumping back up the octave. This diatonic theme is contrasted with sections that carry the tonal center far from the original d minor into the A-Flat regions. The contrasting sections bring some dissonance and syncopation against the theme. But, all resolves quickly at the end. This movement is in rondo form.
"A Moment of Peace" is established through slowly unfolding chords and lines. After introductory patterns in the strings, the bassoon initiates a melody with the simple, step-wise motif E-F-E-D. The delicacy of this theme is created through mordents, grace notes and other forms of ornamentation. This movement is structured as a theme and variations which rarely stray far from the home tonality, yet cover a wide range of dynamics, tempi, and mood. The expressive high range of the bassoon is explored particularly in the closing section.
"In Motion" can best be described as a "driven rondo-with-cadenza". The pace of this movement is relentless, with the bassoon as the most active player. A restlessness is felt with the shifting tonal centers of each new statement of the theme. The harmonic structures are sparse, and the style is forceful. This is energetic music.
The Concerto for Bassoon and Strings was composed especially for Janet Polk of the Vermont Symphony Orchestra.
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