Conmmissioned by Radio France for Pascal Gallois and the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France

  • 7vn.2va.2vc.db
  • bassoon
  • 20 min

Programme Note

Throughout my career as a composer, I have written quite a number of 'concertante' pieces that explore in different ways a wealth of compositional possibilities that evolve out of the relationship between solo and orchestra. In Voiles it is possible (on a linear level) to trace in the solo bassoon part an almost continuous melodic contour that exists from the beginning to the end of the piece. It doesn't travel in a straight line, but rather it is a journey that takes the melody through a complex 'labyrinthian' network of interconnecting and recurring paths, eventually proliferating into the pulsing freedom of the concluding scherzo! Throughout this process the multi-layered components of the solo string ensemble provide a constantly changing backcloth of 'harmonic veils' that invade and, at times, immerse the solo melodic line, creating a kaleidoscope of shifting perspective between the soloist and strings.

Voiles is scored for solo bassoon and a twelve-part string ensemble, consisting of seven violins, two violas, two cellos and double bass. The piece is dedicated to Pascal Gallois, whose extraordinary musical and technical skill influenced every aspect of the composition.

Programme note by Simon Bainbridge