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Song of the Redwood Tree - SOP/BSN/PN

Composer: Knable, Sunny

Publisher: TrevCo

Edition: 2903 - 68186


Song of the Redwood Tree

for soprano, bassoon and piano

by Sunny Knable - American composer, bassoonist, educator, author

Based on poems by Walt Whitman. 

I. California Song
II. Death-chant
III. Golden Pageant

From the composer:

Every piece I composer starts with the question, "Why does this work have to exist?"  Until I answer the questions, it seems an impossible task to begin. When soprano Robin Fisher, bassoonist Scott Pool, and pianist Natsuki Fukusawa approached me in 2012 to commission a work for their unique trio, I pondered this questions for longer than usual, and finally came to the answer when reading through Walt Whitman's "Leaves of Grass". In it, Whitman's colorful and musical language depicts the scenery of the redwoods (like the opening bassoon line), the excitement of the gold-rush country 9heard in the soprano's flare of the third movement), and the machination of the modern world (listen for the piano in the second movement) amongst all of California's natural splendor-which by the way, is my home state. Now in retrospect, I can say that there is something about the combination of Whitman, California, and the commissioners who I had worked with and knew well, which made this piece a very personal endeavor that I now hold dear to my heart. Of course, as it is also extremely virtuosic for all three instruments, I am indebted to the talents of those who commissioned it and gave it its premiere at The Festival of New American Music in 2012, and to those who would like to continue to spread these "Songs of the Redwood Tree" like "Ships coming in from all around the world, or going out to the whole world.