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Pieces of Eight (Score & Parts)-WW8

Composer: Dodgson, Stephen

Publisher: Phylloscopus Publications (England)

Edition: PP552


Pieces of Eight
for two oboes, two clarinets, two horns, and two bassoons
by Stephen Dodgson (1924-2013)- English composer
I. Allegro deciso
II. Adagio sostenuto
III. Vivace

Written in 1999, this piece was written spontaneously, in a relaxed mood after a busy spell. Both outside movements have a mischievous tendency to harmonic surprise and the unexpected, generally. In the finale, the mischief borders on the violent at times, though it just as suddenly gives way to a sunny playfulness. The music is boisterous but dance-like in character, whereas the first movement is in more open and concertante style, launched by a jaunty dialogue for the two bassoons, announcing its omnipresent quirky rhythm. 

Motivation for the central piece was a desire to supply a new-age Romance, sonorous and sustained, with richly overlapping harmonies and a pervasive solemnity emphasized by a full final chord of c minor. Each movement has an emphatically tonal ending even if, in each case, it is reached punctually but a little obliquely.