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Sonic Portals - OB/HN/PN

Composer: Sargon, Simon

Publisher: Simon Sargon

Edition: 66427


Sonic Portals
for oboe, French horn, and piano
by Simon Sargon (1938-2022) - American composer, pianist, and music educator of Israeli and Indian descent
I. Molto tranquillo
II. Allegro vivo, molto leggero
III. Sereno
IV. Con brio
Written in 2004 and commissioned by the Texas Music Teacher's Association (2003).
In this piece, I have tried to find new ways to deal with the disparate sounds of the oboe and horn, to explore new aural effects in my writing for them. As the title indicates, however, these aural effects are not an end n themselves, but a gateway to enter new areas of expressivity and emotion.
The arching horn melody with which the first movement begins sets the mood of the piece. Accompanied by soft arpeggiated chords on piano, it creates a feeling of suspension of time and place. The theme is soon taken up by the oboe, after which both instruments comment Upon it. The pianos' flowing melody further elaborates the mood of the piece, and all three instruments contribute to the movement's powerful climax. 
The second movement is light and airy. Fragments of the theme are anticipated in both instruments leading to a strong initial statement. As the movement progresses, motives from the first movement are woven into the texture. The central part of the movement has a pastoral feeling to it, featuring imitative duetting and canons between the two instruments. 
Emotionally, the third movement is the core of the piece. The oboe sings a quiet, prayerful melody, and once again the horn moves in canon with it, or serves as a mellow echo. But the serenity of this opening dissolves in the middle section of the movement, which becomes agitates, and dissonant. As the music builds to its climax, the melody of the first movement is stated once again, now distorted in a bi-tonal matrix of sound. After a brief transition, the movement ends as it began, in a quiet and reassuring song.
Playful and humorous, the last movement deals with the shifting of accents and a mixing of meters to arrive at a completely different mood from the earlier sections of the Trio. The oboe's lightness and flexibility are featured in a lyrical section, and the Trio closes in a burst of high spirits. 
--Simon A. Sargon