Bartók, Béla, -- 1881-1945. Of the many marvelous aspects of Bartok's composition, two in particular have influenced this piece. In the first movement I have used structural techniques and short, angular themes typical of the string quartets, but seldom, if ever, applied to winds. A folk element in evident in the rhythms and patterns of the last movement. The second movement, an arioso in free time, is not consciously tied to Bartok. It begins with a long oboe solo which overlaps the end of the preceding movement.
The piece follows an unusual plan. Movements I (Prelude), III (Interlude), and V (Finale) are all drawn from the same lively material, in dance-like 7/8 patterns. The second movement, a Lullaby, is gently lyrical. The fourth, a Dirge, is much more serious, even austere at times. The Finale, though based on the original 7/8 motives, retains some of this darker mood, then gradually resumes the bright character of the Prelude.
Leslie Gerber, Woodstock Times
Hoover writes superbly for winds. Her piece, in five movements, is beautifully constructed, and the plan the composer explained of using the same material. and changing its nature in three of the movements works well...it seems to have a deeper emotional resonance.
The idea of writing a bassoon quartet, when first mentioned, fascinated me; the instrument is an impressively flexible one with a wide range. Besides, I knew the members of the New York Bassoon Quartet, and the temptation to write for such fine players was irresistible.
The central section of the Sinfonia, the Funeral March, was inspired by the form of a scene from Stiffelio, an obscure opera by Verdi. It features a repeating bass motif, with increasing layers and densities of sound. The introduction is a bit freer and more experimental in nature. The last movement is an up-tempo fugue, with elements of jazz and some rather silly and difficult grace-note figures.
In the spring of 1980, I heard the New York Saxophone Quartet play and decided to write a piece for them. The sound of saxophones has been with me all my life in jazz, big-bands, rock, and everything in between. This suite draws on the sounds from the simple bounce of 'Count Off' to the 50' atonal jazz element in 'Honk'. 'Going to London' has a double derivation: I was making a trip to London at the same time, and I took the rhythm of the ride for my main theme (three eighth notes followed by two quarters). The third movement to the arrangement of a pop tune by a friend.