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Five Studies

for two oboes (2018)

For Manou Rolland 


The first piece is simple monody for solo oboe that juxtaposes two types of material—one ornate, one static and distant; at the end, a third solemn idea is introduced that pre-empts subsequent movements.


The second is a fast cascading sequence that descends from a major triad to a unison D#, wildy zigzagging across the oboe's range.


The third is a simple cantilena: the oboe sings a simple line that is taken on a walk through a number of harmonic fields. Whilst the ‘fields’ are restricted in pitch (only nine notes are ever used), and the dynamic almost never changes, the rhythmic construction is extremely precise and florid.


To contrast with the simplicity and introspection of the previous piece, the fourth is extremely outgoing. It is a wild duet. At first unpredictable, the music settles on a lullaby, played in counterpoint in vast, falling intervals that are designed to be extremely sonorous.


The fifth piece, the finale, is perhaps the most serious in tone. It begins with a low polyphonic song, rich in overtones of previous musics, that subsequently morphs into ever faster and more turbulent figurations.

You can buy a score of Five Studies from SOUNZ Centre for New Zealand Music, available here

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