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Alex Campbell-Hunt: Woodlan...Internal audio
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Woodland Episodes is a pastoral-themed cycle of short pieces, that experiments with bitonality. The bitonality is particularly noticeable in the opening movement, ‘Dusk & Dawn’, where the oboe part is in Eb major and the bass clarinet is initially in E minor. The reprise at the end of the work is a variation with both parts in the same key. Bitonality is also present in ‘Water’, and features slightly in ‘Predators’. ‘Water’ consists mostly of arpeggiated I, IV and V chords, but in two different keys a tone apart. The whole-tone scale appears toward the end, with the instruments playing in parallel ninths.
The piece draws inspiration from Prokofiev, particularly Peter & the Wolf. Prokofiev’s music often embodies happy and sinister qualities simultaneously, which is something I wanted to do in this piece. There is a cheerful character to it that is almost childlike in tone, and this is reinforced by the title. However, there are also darker undertones, due in part to the presence of bitonality.