Spindrift Commissioning Guild Project for 2006
Enchanted for oboe and chamber orchestra
Back in 2005 the Concord Ensemble played a wonderful concert on the First Parish Summer Series, a Friday noon concert series that now extends from May to October. I was in the horn section and many of the players and the conductor Alan Yost are friends from the Concord Orchestra. The concert went so well that we repeated the concert as a benefit for the Orchestra in September.
solo oboe, flute, clarinet, bassoon, 2 horns, trumpet, harp, strings
Also available for oboe and piano
Spindrift Commissioning Guild
Written for Veronica Kenney and the Concord Chamber Ensemble, Alan Yost, conductor
Friday August 11, 2006
Veronica Kenney, oboe soloist
First Parish Summer Series, First Parish Unitarian, Harrington Road, Lexington, MA USA
I had always wanted to write a piece for our oboist Veronica Kenney and when I spoke to Alan about the 2006 concert, he liked the idea too. The goal of the piece is to write something that reflects Veronica's beautiful, expressive playing and that the loyal fans of the concert series will enjoy. The premiere will be Friday August 11 2006 and the program will repeat on Sunday September 17 2006 in another benefit for the orchestra. Save the dates!
See Enchanted in the Music Catalog.
This project is completed.
Read about the Guild.
The following friends and supporters have contributed to support the composing and performance of Enchanted for oboe and chamber orchestra:
Carson P. Cooman
Grant and Betsy Anderson
Anonymous - 3
My thanks to everyone who is supporting Enchanted!
Composer's comments while writing the music:
- February & March 2006 - I've got two pieces to write and I guess I'd better focus on Black Bear Dance first, since that concert is in June. I've written the opening theme for Enchanted, but I can't seem to get beyond it and figure out what comes next. I met with Veronica and we talked about the theme, the oboe, and music that she loves. It's important to leave breathing space for the oboe player, with time to breathe out as well as to take in air. I don't know what the name is yet. I keep coming back to my notes so far, but I haven't found the magical feeling that will continue the mysterious opening theme.
- mid-April 2006 - Black Bear Dance is just about done. Now that I can concentrate on the oboe piece, I suddenly find the right gestures for continuing. I'm relieved! - although I've always believed that the music will come when the conditions are right and when I've mulled it over long enough.
- Nancy Burdine is sending out publicity for the Summer concert series, and it would be nice to give her a name. I can't seem to let go of the idea of "Enchanted Forest", but I think that sounds too corny. There's probably some new-age product that is using it already. I don't even want to check the web for that. But...I can't seem to let go of the word Enchanted, so that must be it - "Enchanted" is the title.
- April 26, 2006 - I've got to take a couple of days to put up these Guild web pages, but I'm eager to get back to the music. Please consider supporting this project!
- May 3, 2006 - Since I got the preparation for the drummers in Black Bear Dance done, I'm getting a lot done on Enchanted. I've got to find the right ending.
- May 19, 2006 - I finished the orchestration and gave a part to Veronica. I've still got to print the 65-page score.
- May 22, 2006 - I finished checking all the parts on the computer and am ready to print the score. I chose hi-quality print. I had no idea it would take the whole day to print.
- May 25, 2006 - There's a lot going on this week. On the way to the rehearsal for Black Bear Dance, I dropped the score off for Alan at his rehearsal for the chamber version of Mahler's 4th. All this music is happening on the First Parish Summer Series. I tip my hat to Nancy Burdine for making this series such a cultural happening in Lexington.
- Sep 22, 2006 - I forgot to write about progress to the concerts in August and September. My summer was very busy, partly because of a photo exhibition my husband and I did of our trip to India. But actually, there was not that much to say about the concerts because things went so smoothly.
About the concerts
Alan Yost, the conductor, and Edie Epstein, the president of Concord Orchestra, organized a beautiful pair of concerts. The first was August 11, part of the First Parish Summer Series, a Friday noon series, where I frequently record or participate musically. We had a very large audience who liked the whole program. Then we repeated the program on September 17, as a Benefit Concert for the Concord Orchestra. We had a great audience, with cookies and tea, and again the music was well received.The program had several fine soloists. Siri Smedvig, concertmaster of Concord Orchestra, played Mozart's Concert in G and Epp Sonin sang Barber's moving Knoxville: Summer of 1915. And Veronica Kenney was the oboe soloist in both performances of Enchanted.
Here's a link to an mp3 of the September performanced of Enchanted.
Several oboe players commented to me that i should do a piano reduction and that many performers, who don't have a chamber orchestra handy, would want it for recitals. That's next...
I've particulary enjoyed the approval of my oboe player friends. The First Parish concert organizer and oboist, Nancy Burdine, and Epp Sonin, oboe-player-turned-soprano soloist, both commented on the beauty of the oboe writing. Veronica's mother, who heard her practicing during a visit, declared that "the composer really understood the oboe." I was very pleased and gratified. Of course, it all came together because of Veronica's expressive playing and Alan's inspiring conducting and the talents of the whole ensemble. We all had a lot of fun bring the music to life.
I want to thank the generous guild members who supported this project. I am very grateful.