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Four Pieces (score & parts) - 4BSN/CBSN

Composer: Spencer, William

Publisher: TrevCo

Edition: 71949


Four Pieces
for four bassoons and contrabassoon (or five bassoons)
by William Spencer (b. 1956) - American composer

In memoriam - passacaglia
Pointless Fun



Stravinsky always claimed that he never began composing a piece at the beginning but somewhere in the middle. This set began life at the end with the fourth movement, for reasons probably best left unexplored. It should be played more or less as fast as possible without losing cleanness of execution. The first movement should be thought of as a lyrical, singing dance, while the second was characterized by a friend as “like Elaine’s dancing on Seinfeld.” I will take that as a compliment of sorts. The third movement commemorates someone who died tragically young (someone known to me only by reputation); it refers more or less obliquely to two pre-existing pieces of music that seem apt. All four are intended to be performed as a set, but there is no reason individual movements cannot be done on their own. 

- William Spencer, 12/23


Bassoonist, conductor, and composer William Spencer began his serious musical studies on bassoon at age 12 (after a few years of piano lessons had no apparent effect whatsoever). His teachers included among others Leonard Sharrow and Sherman Walt, former principals of the Chicago and Boston Symphonies respectively. He holds degrees from Boston University in bassoon and musicology, and a doctorate in conducting from the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore, where he studied with Frederik Prausnitz. Over the course of five summers at the Aspen Music Festival he studied bassoon and conducting at different times, the latter with Paul Vermel. As a composer he has dabbled in song cycles, smaller-scale choral works, and double-reed-themed diversions.