Seas of the Moon (download)

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Roger Zare
Bassoon solo
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Product Overview

Winner of the 2023 Bassoon Chamber Music Composition Competition (BCMCC) 
Selected repertoire for the 2025 Meg Quigley Vivaldi Competition


I. Mare Vaporum (Sea of Vapors)
II. Mare Crisium (Sea of Crises)
III. Mare Frigoris (Sea of Cold)
IV. Oceanus Procellarum (Ocean of Storms)

Seas of the Moon is a suite inspired by four imaginatively named regions on the moon. Early humans gazed at the brilliant moon and saw what appeared to be seas and oceans separating continents and islands. While we now know
that the moon is desolate and completely devoid of bodies of water, these names of lunar regions stuck and are fantastically descriptive.

The first movement, “Mare Vaporum,” or “Sea of Vapors,” suggests an impressionist seascape, with foam and fog roiling about. With long lyrical lines and free rhapsodic rhythms, the bassoon imagines the changing shapes of water and clouds.

“Mare Crisium,” or “Sea of Crises,” is a fast and rhythmic piece with multiple layers of rhythm that dance about the whole range of the bassoon. This creates an illusion of multiple bassoons playing together as the activity builds to a rousing climax.

The third movement, “Mare Frigoris,” or “Sea of Cold,” explores lyricism again. Contrasting the first movement, the rhythms of this movement are wide open, abandoning a metrical impulse in order to create expansive arcs of expression.

The final movement, “Oceanus Procellarum,” or “Ocean of Storms,” is a rhythmic tour de force. A bit inspired by heavy metal music, the frenetic rhythms begin to slow down and get heavier while becoming grittier, with invasive flutter tonguing and timbre trills activating the texture. At the end, the music quickly accelerates back to its original speed and explodes with energy at the close.


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