In the Forest

In the Forest (2010) – WW Quintet with Ob. doubling on E. Hn.

Duration: 6:00 minutes

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In the Forest, for woodwind quintet is a theme and five variations. Each variation depicts a different part of a large, gloomy forest. The theme introduces to the audience five musical travelers who are represented by the five instruments and the forest. The first variation is where the travelers begin exploring the forest. In this variation, polytonality represents the creepiness of the forest’s nocturnal animals. As the travelers continue through the forest in the second variation, they soon realize that they are lost. As each variation progresses, the music gradually moves faster, representing the quickening pace of the travelers as they become more afraid of their surroundings.  The fourth variation features polytonality that is similar to the first movement, but it is more dissonant.  This is intended to represent the fear of the travelers when they encounter a bear, which chases them to the edge of a cliff.  With no other way to escape the bear, the travelers jump over a cliff, which is represented by the high, piercing flute. The fifth variation expresses the confusion of the travelers as they try to retrace their steps in order to exit the forest. This moment is represented by dissonant textures. Ultimately, the group of travelers leaves the forest, unharmed, which is indicated by the clear return of the opening material of the theme.

Premiered by: The Sparta Winds. Premiered at Michigan State University Hart Recital Hall on April 10, 2010.