Auer Hall, Bloomington, IN
Kim Walker, bassoon / New Century String Quartet
Twilight was written for Kim Walker, and is cast in three movements, the last two of which occur without pause. When the opportunity to write for bassoon presented itself, I was thrilled and terrified at once. Since the bassoon is an instrument I know better than most, I felt especially responsible to write a piece highlighting what I felt was unique about the instrument—its tremendous range and color possibilities, natural clarity of articulation, and haunting lyrical capabilities - while trying to quell my natural tendencies toward making this a marathon for a performer. I chose string quartet (it being a rather homogenous sound, yet capable of incredible variation of color in its own right) specifically to contrast and highlight these perceived unique qualities. Consequently, I tended to treat the soloist and ensemble as two instruments, rather than five.
The titles of the movements are, of course, somewhat altered versions of the originals (scherzo, divertimento, etc.), and represent the music’s references to these formal idioms, but more importantly they reflect the skewed nature of the formal plan—they are merely hints toward what one should expect to hear. Musical material flows freely between each of the movements, and the final twilight occurs as the material from the opening is presented at its most transparent to close the piece. Twilight was premiered by Kim Walker and the New Century String Quartet in February 2004 as part of the Bloomington Arts Week recital series.
— Sean Shepherd
This program note may be reproduced free of charge in concert programs with a credit to the composer.