Sextet for Winds & Piano

Duration: 12′  |  Difficulty: Advanced

Flute | Soprano Saxophone | Clarinet | Horn | Bassoon | Piano

Sextet for Winds & Piano is written for a modified wind quintet and piano and explores the depths of the mind of a composer based on reflections of my own inner thoughts and musical ideas.

Program Notes

Like all art, composition can be tought in basic fundamental terms, yet composers cannot be taught to express themselves in their own unique styles. So if it cannot be taught, where does it come from? Where did great composers like Bach, Beethoven, Stravinsky, Debussy, Shostakovich, Ravel, and others get the inspiration to write their grandiose works which explore their visions, lives, and expressions of their experiences?

Where does my own music come from?

When I began this work, my first thoughts were to explore these questions. I wanted to discover what composition means to me and where my ideas come from. From this searching, I set out to compose a work which could properly express my creative process from initial thoughts and ideas in their most fundamental forms (themes, motives, colors, textures, whatever immediately came to mind) to the final work These base ideas served as the foundations for “Sextet for Winds & Piano.”

The opening movement, First, Thoughts, is the result of my most immediate reactions to the questions I’d posed: the wish to push the boundaries of our conceptions of color in chamber ensembles, experiment with fresh ideas, and to find some way to articulate my own musical identity on the score. I began with the classic ‘wind quintet’ and replaced the oboe with the soprano saxophone because, while their timbers are similar, the switch between their colors immediately cultivated a sound I’d been seeking out for some time.

The second movement, Dreamscapes, transforms the fundamental ideas of First, Thoughts into new forms. It is my attempt to articulate the end result of my process of composition. That is to say, Dreamscapes is the completed work which the initial ideas articulated in First, Thoughts would become. In line with the theme of the full sextet, toward its end, an excerpt from Shostakovich’s Jazz Suite No. 2 takes hold of the consciousness of the work; as if to get distracted and lost in thought for a split moment.