River of Light
For Bassoon and Piano.
By Daniel Baldwin.
River of Light was commissioned by and is gratefully dedicated to Scott Pool, who I had the pleasure of meeting at the 2006 International Double Reed Society Conference in Muncie, Indiana. After hearing the premiere of my The Rose Chronicles for double reed trio, he approached me about a project. After hearing him play at the conference, we were quick to agree on a enjoyable project that included this piece and another piece for him and his wife.
River of Light is based loosely on the landscape painting “El Rio de Luz” (or “The River of Light”) by Frederick Edwin Church. Being a big fan of Church's works, I had been anxious to do a piece based on one of his works, and this painting is one of my favorites. Based on a trip he once made to South America, its remarkable attention to detail and overall tonal harmony make it a wonderful vehicle for my music.
The piece begins as if we are standing right where Church was, witnessing this stunning view. It then drifts off into the imagination where anything is possible.
River of Light is a short, programmatic piece accessible to most any audience and is ideal as an opening work to a recital or even as an encore piece. It is highly expressive in its melodic phrasing and captures the images of the sunshine rising over the water in great detail.