This is just the second work expressly written for the contraforte. Spurred on by Kalevi Aho's Concerto and the artistry of Lewis Lipnick, a contrabassoonist with the National Symphony Orchestra. My objective as a composer was to contribute to the repertoire for the still-quite-new instrument, the contraforte, both in terms of range and in terms of expressivity. The resulting composition, Sonata for Contraforte and Piano, was also inspired by the International Double Reed Society convention, which is where I first met Lipnick and saw and heard him play.
Included in this Sonata are quotes from oboe; they are excerpts that I heard being played while musicians were testing instruments at the Double Reed Society’s convention. The finale movement was composed as a set of variations on Paganini’s Caprice No. 24. Additionally, portions of the finale are patterned after Rachmaninoff’s famous Rhapsody.
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