Pandemonio (score & parts) - 2OB/EH/BSN
Composer: Covoni, Carlo
for two oboes, English horn, and bassoon
by Carlo Covoni
1. Il Tramonto (Dusk)
2. Le Streghe (Witches)
3. Il Principe delle Tenebre (Prince of Darkness)
4. Il Sabbath (Witches Mass)
Pandemonio is a story about three witches, Mira, Stucca and Velpa, who come together at dusk in an abandoned old church, deep in a forest. The mood is mysterious and misty.
Nervously they gather all the ingredients and start to prepare their witches’ brew in a big cauldron. Using ancient rituals, they call out for the prince of darkness. And he answers…
At midnight when the church bell strikes 12 times, they celebrate together their black mass. With secret spells, devilish marches and repetitive mantras they get to high spirits in this bachannal feast.
Pandemonio is based on two intervals: the hollow fifth and the tritone.
The hollow fifth gives a medieval and mysterious atmosphere. The tritone creates a disturbing and uncomfortable tension. It was banned from church music by the Catholic Church in the medieval times and was called “the interval of the Devil’.
Throughout the whole piece these intervals are used in this cartoonesque and spooky piece. It was written by Carlo Covoni during a summer in France and Italy where he was playing chamber music and teaching surrounded by old churches and forests.
ABOUT THE COMPOSER
Carlo Covoni (b.1971) (aka Karel Schoofs) is a Belgian oboist. During his studies at the Royal Conservatory of Antwerp he became a member of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra of Flanders (now called Antwerp Symphony Orchestra). In 1996 he was appointed as principal oboe with the National Orchestra of Belgium with chief conductors Yuri Simonov, Mikko Franck and Walter Weller. Since 2008 he holds the same position with the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra under chief conductors Valery Gergiev, Yannick Nézet-Séguin and Lahav Shani.
Since 2013 Karel Schoofs has been the oboe professor at the Royal Conservatories of Brussels and The Hague and at the Musica Mundi school in Waterloo.
In addition to various chamber music concerts, music theatre and solo performances he gives master classes worldwide from Michigan to Beijing.