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This is the most recent of a number of works I have written for bassoonist Ben Hoadley. I have been privileged to write for and collaborate with Ben, whose expressivity is I think one of the treasures of New Zealand music. I cannot speak for all listeners, but for me the bassoon is one of the most personal of all instruments. It speaks not grandly or with perfect eloquence but with an immediacy and intimacy that is quite special.
The bassoon concerto was an opportunity to create an extended work exploring the melodic line and to push the limits of Ben's exquisite upper register. The work consists of three slow movements interrupted by two tiny slivers of energetic activity, ruptures in a continuous, static texture.
There is some kind of journey here, albeit simply expressed and slow in its unfolding. The music has ended up following its own course, offering not solutions or even reflections, but only a singular focus, a line, a channel. Therefore it has a certain kind of impermeability, and requires a deal of faith and patience in the single path, with all its bends and diversions.
The work is dedicated to my parents, Vicki and Trish.
23 Nov 2014: Performed by Ben Hoadley (bassoon) and the Auckland Chamber Orchestra, and conducted by Peter Scholes.