Fantasy on a tale : for wind quintet
by Wendy Hiscocks (1998)
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Library shelf no. 785.4315/HIS 2 [Available for loan]
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Fantasy on a Tale was written in response to a
commission from bassoonist Hugh Rosenbaum. Cast in a single
movement, the work involves the characters of children, whose
entry and exit are marked by a lively march, and a babushka-like
figure who tells the two tales. She is not old but round, warm
and jolly in character like the horn that depicts her. The two
tales on which a fantasy is woven are based on illustrations. The
first is a cartoon drawing of a boy looking at a beautiful spider
in its web. He asks the spider for some thread to mend his
trousers. In the story Babushka tells, the spider is a beautiful
young girl with raven black hair and eyes, and the web is the
beginning of the unseen threads of affection and bonding. The
second tale is drawn from a picture of a Russian lacquer box
painting inspired by Russian legends and fairy tales by the
contemporary artist Palekh. The music focuses on a still,
moonless night in a forest. The stars are shining and snow is
falling. The great trees of the forest begin to stir and you hear
arrival of three fiery steeds in full flight who are eventually drawn up into the night sky. They are magic horses, though, and Babushka tells the children that they will return while they sleep, to take them on a ride through the stars.
Instrumentation: Flute, oboe, clarinet in A, horn in F, bassoon.
Duration: 10 min.
Commission note: Commissioned by Hugh Rosenbaum.
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