Bassoon and Strings

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  1. Heavens Awaken, The

    Composer: Buss, Howard J.
    Instrumentation: Solo and String quartet Instruments: Bassoon, Cello, Viola, Violin
    Genre: Contemporary
    Dedicated to bassoonist Arnold Irchai. The structure of this exciting work is highly symbolic in that it was inspired by the details of the visions of the priest Ezekiel while living with the Jewish exiles in Babylon. Ezekiel saw a powerful, glowing, and complex entity appear in the sky out of a “great cloud.” He believed it to be an appearance of God: “Also out of the midst thereof came the likeness of four living creatures. And this was their appearance; they had the likeness of a man.” (Ezekiel 1:5 KJV) The formal scheme of The Heavens Awaken is programmatic in the sense that the sequence of events described in the vision is musically represented in a general way. The serene opening gradually becomes mysterious and gives way to a series of passages that serve as an ominous portent to the arrival of the airborne object. The 4 string instruments, each with 4 strings, 4 tuning pegs, and human-like body shape symbolize the 4 “creatures” of the vision. The bassoon represents the “voice” of what Ezekiel believes is God. It should be noted that many people also have interpreted his vision as a sighting of a UFO, described with the insights and vocabulary of the day. “This significant new addition to the bassoon and string quartet literature is a “must for the advanced bassoonist!” Learn More

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