Rhapsody for Oboe and Orchestra (or piano)

A few excerpts here... apologies for it being electronic (couldn't find the premiere recording)

In the spring of 1997 I made a decision to, at long last, write an original oboe concerto. I had been studying impressionistic music at the time and, after listening to Ravel's "Concerto for the Left Hand" and Debussy's "Sunken Cathedral" piano prelude, I thought I could compose a work in that particular style for oboe and orchestra.

I based the entire work on a simple theme:

Initially, I wrote two movements; the first had its tonal center on D and was fully orchestrated for pairs of woodwinds (with an English horn in place of the 2 oboes), a full brass section, massive percussion battery, and strings. The second movement began with the same tonal center, but then ended with C as the tonic. This movement remained as a piano score and I had toyed with the idea of leaving it that way in the final version (piano and oboe alone with perhaps just the strings to add their color.)

For better or for worse, the first version of the piece was finished on April 1, 1997 and was a birthday present for a friend and fellow studio mate of mine at the Crane School. After this, I didn't look at the piece much until I began studying at Florida State. After looking over my work and thinking about ways to make it easier to put together, I decided to reduce the wind and percussion section dramatically. I rescored the piece for single woodwinds, two horns, one trumpet, timpani, percussion (cymbals and snare drum), glockenspiel, and strings.

The next thing I did was finally score the second movement for the instruments I had now selected. In doing so, I found that perhaps there was no need to make the chorale and recitative a stand-alone movement and, after making some adjustments concerning key relationship, managed to integrate it directly into the body of the first movement. It was then that I decided that this would be a piece in one movement.

After this chorale section, I composed a recapitulation and, at this point, gave the orchestra the opportunity to "let loose" while playing the main theme. In this section, I dropped the tonal center from D to C, which meant that I needed to bring the piece back home to D somehow and give the oboist a chance to say a little more. It was then that I had sudden random idea of adding in something like a military march featuring the horns, timpani, snare drum, and low strings. After that, a transitional passage which modulates through several keys finally returns the piece to D and a modified reprise of the introduction brings us to the end of the work.

Impressions is dedicated to my friend and former Crane School studio mate Kaylin (McNaughton) Sanderl and was premiered by myself and the Big Bend Community Orchestra conducted by Blair Clawson on December 9, 2001.



Scored for: Solo Oboe - 1EH11-2100-Timp+2-Strings

Orchestra Study Score - $20

Orchestra Score and Parts

Available for hire Email the Composer

Piano Reduction with Solo Part (Oboe) - $30

�1999-2022 Matthew A. Fossa