The Man in the Moon

symphonic poem

The Man in the Moon - Part of the middle section

 

About

Written in 2017 when I was finally feeling more confident with my new voice. This orchestral work is undergoing a major revision this year (2021); among other things I am restoring and developing the bassoon solo which originally started the piece.

 

I am well aware of the risks of a less than flattering comparison with another much more famous bassoon solo which starts the Rite of Spring. However, mine is there for deeply personal reasons. Furthermore, it is an integral and essential component form which the rest of the music flows, both in its material and its emotional content.

 

This is a dramatic work of contrasts and transitions; from clouds of overlapping texture to sharp definition; from frayed and blurred melodic fragments, to unison ensemble, and from apparent quasi senza misura pulse to highly charged rhythm. There are also stylistic modulations: from romantic rhapsody to jazz funk, from soft consonance to hard dissonance and from static harmony to one instance of a traditional harmonic progression and cadence - with a quotation (can you identify the composer and the work?). The piece ends with a climax and final resolution. Or does it?

 

I hope performers and listeners will make their own connections between the title of this work and the musical material in it; the bassoon solo is partially restated near the end but is now surrounded by echoes of its own voice. In the end there seems to be no answer; a final E screams uncomfortably; maybe there will never be an answer. Maybe what we were looking for isn't there any more.

Forces

Flute 1 & Piccolo

Flute 2

Flute 3

Flute & Alto Flute

Oboe 1

Oboe 2

Oboe 3

Oboe 4 & Cor Anglais

Clarinet 1 & Clarinet in E flat

Clarinet 2

Clarinet 3

Clarinet 4 & Bass Clarinet

Bassoon 1

Bassoon 2

Bassoon 3

Contrabassoon

Horn in F 1

Horn in F 2

Horn in F 3

Horn in F 4

Trumpet in B flat 1

Trumpet in B flat 2

Trumpet in B flat 3

Trombone 1

Trombone 2

Trombone 3& Bass Trombone

Tuba 1

Tuba 2

Timpani

Snare Drum

Bass Drum

Crash Cymbal

Tambourine

Gong

Harp

Violin 1

Violin 2

Viola

Cello

Double Bass

Duration

13 minutes

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