concert music for student and professional musicians:
Solo oboe, unaccompanied:
PROKOFIEV (2012) for solo oboe by Ashley Floyd was inspired by the music of great Russian composer, Sergei Prokofiev. Ashley Floyd states on the preface page, "Prokofiev composed some of my favorite excerpts for the oboe (The Love for Three Oranges, Peter and the Wolf, and the First Symphony come immediately to mind) and my piece is a homage to the great master." The work is built on two contrasting ideas. The first consists of short, violent outbursts based around the E-flat minor chord. These snippets of the E-flat minor triad are changed one pitch at a time, leading the harmony toward more distant and dissonant tonal areas. As these small outbursts grow more urgent, they gradually give way to longer note values transforming the music from menacing to a sweeter, more lyrical style. These two styles fight for prominence. The lyrical music seems to win out until the exciting climax during which the E-flat minor triad returns as a full two-octave arpeggio before breaking apart again into the agitated opening material. (3'30") Grade V-VI.
Prokofiev sound sample: http://soundcloud.com/ashleyfloyd/prokofiev
DE LA MADERA
(2006) for oboe and marimba by
Howard Buss. The Spanish title means From the Wood and
refers not only to the material producing the tones, but also the alluring
enchantment of the forest. This beautiful and compelling duo mixes Buss
unique style of soaring lyricism and exciting contrasts with spicy,zesty
Latin rhythms. The result is sure to please both the audience and performers!
(1015) Grade V-VI.
FELINITY by Howard Buss for clarinet & English horn or for two clarinets. Both versions are included with the published set. Cast in 3 colorful movements: Alfies Dance, Behind the Cryptic Gaze , and Intrigues, the character of this entertaining work is greatly influenced by the feline qualities of grace, sleekness, stealth and playfulness. (8) Grade V. Felinity for English horn & clarinet score samples (transposed score):
Excerpt, Movement 1.pdf (2 pages, 280KB); Excerpt, Movement 2.pdf (2 pages, 244KB);
Excerpt, Movement 3.pdf (2 pages, 256KB)
FIRST LIGHT (2005) for oboe & piano by Roger Vogel. In the preface to the score the composer writes, "At the first light of day, before sunrise, the world is slowly coaxed from its slumber." With its quiet, lyrical opening and pauses, this beautiful work embodies this sense of awakening as it gradually becomes more animated and energetic. (545) Grade V. Sound Excerpt.mp3 (1MB)
IDYLLIC SUITE for oboe & bassoon by Roger Vogel is in four charming and entertaining movements and follows the format of a Baroque suite: Overture, Siciliana, Slow Tune and Gigue. It was written in 1976 for John Corina and James Burton and then revised and renotated in 2002. The title refers to the pastoral nature of the music. (1120) Grade IV-V.
Idyllic Suite Sound Samples:
Excerpt, Movement 1.mp3 (1020K); Excerpt, Movement 2.mp3 (920K);
Excerpt, Movement 3.mp3 (948K); Excerpt, Movement 4.mp3 (948K)
OCTOBER DAWN (1987, revised 2006) for oboe & piano by Randall Snyder displays the oboe in a characteristically lyric, songlike style, contrasting with a more active, middle section featuring impressionistic piano arpeggios. The overall mood is one suggesting the bittersweet nostalgia of autumn. (5) Grade IV-V. October Dawn Sound Sample: Excerpt.mp3 (906KB)
SEASIDE REFLECTIONS (1993) by Howard Buss captures the serenity of musing by the sea. On the preface page to the score is printed the following free verse by the composer. It is suggested that the poem be narrated immediately before the performance and/or printed in the program notestoset themoodforthe music:: On the shore of eternity swirling currents of liquid chaos gather for and disperse as foam. As rock wears to sand all dissonance transforms to serenity. Time presses no longer. This is a memorable recital piece with audience appeal. (7) Grade IV.
SKYLINES (2003) for English horn & piano by Howard Buss. Cast in 2 powerful and engaging movements, it is a picturesque musical urban portrait. Skylines is loosely programmatic in that no specific city is depicted; rather, the composer captures, in a broad manner, the essence of the big city spectacle. The lyrical and majestic first movement, Panorama, suggests the expansive grandeur of cityscape. The second, Amid the Spires, is hugely influenced by jazz and captures the dynamic energy of life on the busy streets. movements. (1030) Grade V. Skylines score samples (score in C):
Excerpt, Movement 1.pdf (3 pages, 384KB); Excerpt, Movement 2.pdf (3 pages, 344KB)
TIME CAPSULE (1996) for oboe & bassoon by Howard Buss is an entertaining sonatina in four movements: Daybreak, Chorale, Rendezvous, and Homeward Bound and is both fun to play and listen to. The first movement has a frolicking and optimistic character. Chorale breaks with the traditional structure of the chorale in that each phrase gets a measure longer. The harmonies of the second movement contain some spicy dissonances as well. Rendezvous, is in a lilting 6/8 and really "works up a lather" as it progresses to an exciting climax. The final movement, Homeward Bound, begins with a fanfare-like passage that gives way to a spirited dance characterized by an intriguing interplay between the two instruments. (7) Grade III-IV.
WIND SONGS (2005) for flute/alto flute & oboe/English horn by Howard J. Buss is a charming and vivid duo for performers who like substantial, yet audience-friendly music. This colorful, entertaining work is in three movements: Zephyrs. Whispers Amid the Pines, and Harbinger of the Storm. (815) Grade V.
Score sample: Mvt. 1 Zephyrs.pdf file
Score sample: Mvt. 2 Whispers Amid the Pines .pdf file
Score sample: Mvt. 3 Harbinger of the Storm.pdf file
Oboe and voice:
OBOE (1996) for oboe & medium voice by Roger C. Vogel was written for oboist Dwight Manning. It is a humorous setting of Laurence McKinneys poem Oboe. The comical effect of the music and text is enhanced by theatrical gestures by the performers. These are suggested in the score at the appropriate time. For example, before the music commences, the performers are given the following direction: "Enter with great dignity. The oboist should try several reeds before choosing one while the singer becomes somewhat impatient." From that point on there is an amusing tension created between the performers with directions such as (to the singer), "glare at oboist." Or (to the oboist), "Lip down as much as possible, shrug shoulders and begin next phrase." This entertaining composition is a hit with all types of audiences. It is certainly a piece that should be in the repertoire of every oboist. The vocal range is from D below the treble staff, to Gb above the staff. (The Gb is used only one time.) (530) Grade IV-V. Oboe Sound Samples: Excerpt 1.mp3 (1MB); Excerpt 2.mp3 (1.1MB)
Oboe in chamber music:
COSMIC PORTRAITS (2009) for woodwind quartet (flute, oboe, clarinet, and bassoon) by Howard J. Buss consists of three movements inspired by views of objects in the Milky Way galaxy. The titles of the first two movements, The Backbone of Night and The Pale Blue Dot are taken from the writings of the renowned astrophysicist, Carl Sagan. In his book, Cosmos, he describes how the !Kung Bushman in Botswana refer to the Milky Way as “the backbone of night.” The spine of the Milky Way often appears directly over the Kalahari Desert. The !Kung believe it to be the structural foundation of the heavens and that one of its functions in relation to Earth, among many, is that it holds up the darkness.
In his book, The Pale Blue Dot, Sagan poetically describes a haunting view of Earth from a distant point in our galaxy. He puts our worldly concerns into cosmic perspective when he refers to all that has ever happened to human beings as occurring “on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.” The final movement, Orbitals, suggests celestial bodies revolving around one another in a fascinating cosmic dance. Moons orbiting planets, planets around suns, suns around other suns culminate in the swirling wonder of our galaxy. (18’10”) Grade VI.
DRY BONES, the well-known African American spiritual (the foot bone's connected to the leg bone, the leg bone's connected to the...), arranged for woodwind quartet (flute, clarinet, oboe, and bassoon) by Howard Buss, makes a wonderful concert feature as well as a rousing musical offering in church. Multiple players may be used on each part to expand the ensemble. This arrangement is hugely influenced by jazz. The composer wrote an extended 2-part introduction which begins hymn-like, and then breaks out in a jubilant jazzy section. This is followed by a more traditional rendering of the spiritual; however, as the music reaches its climax, the jazz "licks" from the introduction are brought back as counterpoint against the main melody of the spiritual. The result is exhilarating, and for a bit of humor, just as the work ends, there is a "tongue-in-cheek" plagal cadence. (230) Grade IV.
FIVE STARS (2004) for wind quintet (flute, oboe, clarinet, French horn & bassoon) by Howard J. Buss was composed for the Pegasus Wind Quintet. Each of the five picturesque movements features a different member of the ensemble: I. Into the Maelstrom (303) features the flute Sound Sample Mov.#1.mp3 (780K), II. A Distant Glow (420) features the French horn Sound Sample Mov.#2.mp3 (1008K), III. Orbits (320) features the oboe Sound Sample Mov.#3.mp3 (892K), IV. The Message from the Eternal Sea (3:15) features the bassoon Sound Sample Mov.#4.mp3 (1MB), and V. Dance of the Stars (310) features the clarinet Sound Sample Mov.#5.mp3 (896K). This exquisite work is sophisticated, yet audience-friendly. It is a must for the advanced quintet. Total performance time @ 1710 Grade V-VI.
FUGA VII in Eb Major from Book II of The Well-Tempered Clavier by J. S. Bach (BWV 876), transcribed for double reed quartet (2 oboes, English horn & bassoon) or ensemble by Howard J. Buss was first published in 1744. Rather than intending to elicit a strong emotional response from listeners, this elegant music is designed to showcase the compositional craftsmanship and stimulate the intellect. This work makes a wonderful addition to a concert and is especially appropriate for performances in a church setting. An optional bassoon part is included to cover part 3 in case an English horn player is not available. (2'30") Grade III.
INTRODUCTION AND DANCE (1964) for wind quintet (flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon & French horn) by Edward Troupin (1925-2004). Mr. Troupin enjoyed an international reputation as a composer of instrumental music. Throughout his long and illustrious career as a professor of music at Ithaca College and later the University of Florida, he inspired numerous young composers. Mr. Troupin received his bachelors degree from Harvard University with a major in mathematics. Later he earned his master of music degree from the University of Michigan, where he studied with Ross Lee Finney. Troupins sound-world is dramatic and full of vitality. His Introduction & Dance for wind quintet was composed in 1964. In this delightful composition the colorful and contrasting sections combine in charming balance to make a memorable concert feature. Because of the character of the music Introduction & Dance also makes a rousing encore and an effective contest piece. (5) Grade IV. Introduction & Dance Sound Sample: Excerpt.mp3 (1.2MB)
LAS MENINAS: VARIATIONS (1985) for oboe, cello, guitar & piano by David Alpher was inspired by the visual variations that Pablo Picasso painted in 1957 on Velasquez 1656 masterpiece commonly known as Las Meninas. Several different musical styles are employed during this Theme and 21 Variations in a manner analogous to the stylistic changes Picasso effected from one painting to the next. (16 Grade V - VI. Las Meninas: Variations (ensemble version) Sound Samples: Excerpt 1.mp3 (893KB);
Excerpt 2.mp3 (1MB); Excerpt 3.mp3 (801KB); Excerpt 4.mp3 (1MB)
LULLABY OF THE SEA (2002) for oboe, clarinet, alto sax & bassoon by Robert J. Frank. This charming reed quartet was inspired by the gently undulating waves, shimmering moonlight on the surface, and gentle brezzes of the ocean on a quiet evening in a warm, tropical part of the world. Rolling gestures in the accompaniment compliment the gentle melodic theme, with the occasional call of the seagull. As the work draws to a close, the wind and waves still, lulling the final saxophone melody into blissful sleep. (2’) Grade IV.
NIGHT WINDS (1994) for alto sax and wind quintet (flute, clarinet, oboe, bassoon & French horn) by Roger Vogel. This highly dramatic work is suggestive of the dark and somber quality of the themes and textures used throughout. The alto sax has been added to the traditional wind quintet and is treated as an integral member of the group. This composition is cyclic in form and is in a multi-sectional single movement: there are three slow sections that alternate with two faster ones. Night Winds was completed in 1994 and is dedicated to the musicians that premiered it: by Ronald Waln, flute; Dwight Manning, oboe; Theodore Jahn, clarinet; Jean Martin horn; William Davis, bassoon; and Ken Fischer, alto sax. (1230) Grade V.
Night Winds Sound Samples: Excerpt 1 (the beginning).mp3 (1.1MB); Excerpt 2.mp3 (1.1MB);
Excerpt 3 (the ending).mp3 (962KB)
PRELUDE AND INTRADA for woodwind quartet (flute, oboe, clarinet, and bassoon) by Howard J. Buss. This attractive quartet features lyrical writing, and spirited rhythmic drive. The Prelude combines fanfare and lyrical sections as well as tonal and polytonal harmonies. The festive Intrada is in an ABA-Coda format and features crisp, energetic rhythms and lyrical contrapuntal writing. This is a memorable feature number or an impressive contest piece. Multiple players may be used on each part.. (5’30”) Grade V.
SHORT STORY (1980) for flute, clarinet, oboe, cello & piano by Haskell Small was commissioned by the Georgetown Symphony. The thematic material in this entertaining work is mostly of a lyrical nature juxtaposed with a "chase" motif and several sections of a gently jazzy flavor. It is essentially in sonata form, with an introductory recitative-like section that repeats in the middle and at the end of the composition. A short fugue based upon the main lyrical theme precedes the ending. Recorded on 4Tay Records CD #4020 The Twisted Pine Branch. Haskell Small has been hailed by the Washington Post for his "rich imagination and assured mastery." (1030) Grade V-VI. B603 $22.00
Short Story Sound Samples: Sample 1.mp3 (1MB) Sample 2.mp3 (797K)
TURBULENT TIMES (2009) for flute oboe & bassoon was composed during the Fall of 2009, a time during which The Great Recession maintains its powerful grip much of the world, and uncertainty continues to build within American society. There is a sense among many that the prosperity of the past may never return, and that the future may surprise them with even more hardships. As the seemingly endless wars in Iraq and Afghanistan wear on, many do not expect peace to return in the foreseeable future. Yet, life goes on. The music of Turbulent Times suggests the ebb and flow of the intense uncertainty felt by many with the more pleasant aspects of everyday life. Following the lyrical, almost plaintive introduction, stormy passages give way to sections of relative tranquility, only to reappear. Although the texture occasionally thins to feature one performer, overall the players get little rest. This is by design, reflecting the energy-draining experience of many during these tumultuous and changing times. (11’) Grade VI.
TWO CAPRICES (2007) for flute, oboe & marimba by Howard Buss is a rousing showpiece in two engaging movements. Evocation moves from the mysterious opening to a beautiful extended section in a pensive mood. Romp features beautiful lyricism and spirited rhythms with a Latin flare. Two Caprices was composed for Amy Collins, oboe; Kim McCormick, flute; and Robert McCormick, marimba and was premiered by Ms. Collins and the McCormick Duo at the International Double Reed Society Conference hosted by Ithaca College (NY) in June 2007. (10:30) Grade VI.
Two Caprices Sound Samples: Movement 1, Excerpt 1.mp3 (1MB); Excerpt 2.mp3 (908KB)
Movement 2, Excerpt 1.mp3 (860KB); Excerpt 2.mp3 (1.3MB)
TWO MODERN MOTETS (2005) for wind quintet (flute, clarinet, oboe, bassoon & French horn) by Peter Rothbart was written while he was intensively studying sixteenth century motets. Intrigued by the contrapuntal nature of the genre with its simultaneous interconnectedness and independence of the lines, the composer wrote the first movement, alla Stile Antico, with this in mind. The second movement, alla Stravinsky, was influenced by Rothbart’s long-time fascination with Igor Stravinsky’s neo-classical works. In particular, he was inspired by Stravinsky’s extraordinary sense of balanced form, combined with modern rhythms and melodies. The two movements of this exciting quintet complement one another beautifully. Two Modern Motets makes a brilliant concert feature as well as an impressive contest piece. (4’30”) Grade V.
Two Modern Motets sound samples: Excerpt, Movement 1.mp3 (1.2MB); Excerpt, Movement 2.mp3 (1.1MB)
VILLAGE SCENES (2004) for oboe, clarinet & bassoon by Howard Buss is a charming and colorful work inspired by the composers childhood memories of the village of Old Zionsville in Lehigh County, Pennsylvania. The music is sophisticated, yet accessible, and makes a wonderful recital feature. The three picturesque movements are entitled: I. Playground Games, The Church By the Spring, and The Arrival of Winter. (716) Grade V.
Village Scenes score samples (score in C): Excerpt, Movement 1.pdf (2 pages, 308KB);
Excerpt, Movement 2.pdf (1 page, 140KB); Excerpt, Movement 3.pdf (2 pages, 272KB)
WINTER WINDS for woodwind quartet (flute, oboe, clarinet & bassoon) by Roger Vogel reflects the vivid contrasts of winter - from the soft winds that accompany falling snow, to the sharp winds that chill to the bone. Recorded on the CD Sunlight and Shadows by the University of Georgia Woodwind Quartet - ACA-CM20085. (1515) Grade V. Winter Winds Sound Samples:
Excerpt, Movement 1A.mp3 (1MB); Excerpt, Movement 1B.mp3 (1.1MB);
Excerpt, Movement 2A.mp3 (1MB); Excerpt, Movement 2B.mp3 (999K)
Music or CDs may only be returned if they are defective.