for oboes and piano


This piece was composed for Akris Hung, who asked for something that she could play with several of her students. The first movement uses oboes to quietly sustain pure consonances that function as reverberations of loud piano chords. A melody is then played in and around that texture. In order to provide variety for the players and to create a sense of dialogue, the sustained notes and melody notes alternate between players, but the overall musical effect is consistent throughout. The last chord of this movement, E-Major, sounds like an arrival that prepares for the tonality of what follows. Though the second movement begins with an ambiguous chord, it does essentially develop the pitch E (and the other members of that E chord) as a centricity. The basic texture is 3 oboes playing fast notes that animate chords while alternating oboe solos team up with an English horn to play slower melodic duos surrounding those chords. Technically, because the fast notes repeat different overlapping patterns, one could say that this music borrows from minimalism. Such processes, however, are not the primary focus of this music and so the result isn’t actually minimalism. Instead, it is a flowing dialogue of melody and texture.

(performance time ca.6 minutes)

A performance of Sextet for Oboes and Piano can be heard on YouTube:
Sextet for Oboes and Piano