Spring Fever (Bsn & Pno)
Winner of the 2018 Bassoon Chamber Music Composition Competition
Required work for the 2019 Meg Quigley Vivaldi Competition
Spring Fever was composed in the spring of 2017, following my recent move from the hustle and bustle of New York City to a quiet community near Denver, Colorado. The coming of spring was announced with an abundance of beautiful wild flowers blooming in the yard of my new Colorado home and the neighboring open fields, providing wonderful inspiration for my composition.
The beginning of the 1st movement, “Pastoral”, captures the aura created by the gentle sunlight of a quiet spring afternoon, as it shines through the window and brightens my studio with a warm glow. The calm is suddenly interrupted with a spirited Vivace section that depicts the sound and energy of the neighborhood children at play, and their ensuing laughter and delight! In the end, the peaceful and tranquil opening passage is recapitulated to reflect the warm spring day.
The 2nd movement,“Fever”, begins with an energetic pattern established by the solo bassoon, with driving rhythmic and melodic lines that are carried throughout the entire movement between both the bassoon and piano. The colorful harmonies and syncopated rhythms are somewhat bluesy and suggestive of ragtime.Abrupt changes in dynamics and registers in both instruments serve to create textures and develop thematic ideas, while keeping the syncopated motion driving relentlessly forward. The music relaxes momentarily in a fleeting cantabile section, like briefly catching one’s breath, only to have the bassoon abruptly and emphatically restating the opening “Fever” theme and bringing the movement to its driven conclusion.