Thursday, September 29, 2011

Sorcels on YouTube

I've posted another performance on YouTube.  This one is "Sorcels" by Patrice Sciortino.

"Sorcels" is for solo bassoon. It's a very tough piece with some very imaginative extended techniques.  It includes flutter tonguing, multiphonics, shakes and timbre trills. Though very challenging, these extended techniques add to the surreal nature of the piece.  If handled skillfully, they can give the impression of the bassoon's sound being transformed by the music into an altered state. Instead of calling attention to themselves they fit into the fabric of the composition.

It's written using a 12-tone row, but is very accessible for the listener.  There is a lot of call and response, perhaps depicting a sorcerer, his medium and his audience or participants. There is a jazzy middle section and lots of virtuoso flourishes.  It covers the total range of the instrument from low B to several high f's.

I'm not aware of a commercial recording of this piece, so anyone playing it could use this clip for study. It's from a recital I gave in Cleveland this May.

I'd like to thank Jeff Lyman, bassoon professor at the University of Michigan for making me aware of the piece, and Alexandre Ouzounoff, its dedicatee, for corresponding with me about the piece.

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