Thursday, May 18, 2017

A Month of Extremes, Part 2 -- Miguel's colorful music

After finishing our run of performances of Debussy's Pelleas et Melisande on Saturday night, the very next day I played a concert with the MOSA String Quartet.

On the program were two pieces I commissioned 19 years apart from Miguel del Aguila.

Malambo is a one-movement piece I will be performing with orchestra at the International Double Reed Society Conference on June 20th in Appleton, Wisconsin. This will be my third performance of the work. In April, I performed the bassoon and piano version at the University of Arkansas, at the beginning of the month (mentioned above) I performed the version for bassoon and string quartet, and at the Conference, I'll perform the version with orchestra. I will have played all three versions over a two month span!

Nostalgica is a piece I commissioned in 1998. I recorded it, along with two other works and Miguel's Sunset Song on this CD. Play a clip by going here (Scroll to the bottom and click on the arrow in the CD art cover to play the "Blues" movement.)


The extremes were to be found that week on my bassoon and in my reed case.

Reed case:

On one side I had two soft low reeds, on the other were my solo reeds. These reeds had a full sound, with lots of color possibilities. It took many hours at the reed desk in the month prior to come up with viable candidates for both categories!


During the week before my performances, I went back and forth between two different configurations of bocals, lefreQues, and pad heights on my bassoon depending upon what I was playing that hour. My solo #1cc prewar Heckel bocal, lefreQues and open pad for del Aguila, my #2cc prewar Heckel bocal, no lefreQues and lowered E pad height for Debussy.

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