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Impressions - FL/OB/CL/BSN

Composer: Kassal, James

Publisher: TrevCo

Edition: 71732


for woodwind quartet: flute, oboe, clarinet, and bassoon
by James Kassal - American composer

IMPRESSIONS was written in 2007 and premiered in Providence RI. It is based on whole-tone scales of which there are only two, each having six notes that are totally different from the other scale. A whole tone scale sounds very different from a traditional major or minor scale; the latter has seven notes before the eighth note, the root note of the scale, is reached - an octave from the first note. In fact, the term octave denotes the eighth note and so it is odd that for a whole tone scale, the octave is reached after just six notes. The tonality of IMPRESSIONS provides a unique listening experience for the audience. The music is sedate and contemplative, moving back and forth between the two whole tone scales. The harmonies are unfamiliar but not dissonant.

The piece begins with solo bassoon in its highest range presenting the first theme. Other instruments enter one at a time adding unusual harmony to the theme. This gives way to solo clarinet playing a variation of that theme.  Two more themes are presented and developed before the flute re-presents the opening theme. Joined by the oboe and then clarinet and bassoon, the piece concludes with a final mysterious chord that seems to ask a question.

Duration app. 6 minutes