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by Guy Woolfenden

duration 10 minutes

2 flutes, 2 oboes, 2 clarinets, 2 horns, 2 bassoons
  I Allegro moderato
  II Andante espressivo in memoriam William Waterhouse
  III Andante con moto: Allegro subito

Shortly after I began work in earnest on Reflections, my second serenade for wind dectet, the great English bassoonist, William Waterhouse, died. We attended the same school (Whitgift in South Croydon), and I followed his remarkable career as he climbed to the top of the profession both as a performer and a teacher. He was loved by all for his wit, wisdom and scholarship.

The second movement begins and ends with a bassoon solo in Bill’s memory. The outer movements which frame this ‘In memoriam’ are reflections on the witty, humorous side of Bill and my own memories of a happy childhood with musical parents - my father led a dance band and my mother was the daughter of a church organist and sang rather well.

Reflections was commissioned by Simon Payne and the Oxford Sinfonia, to whom the work is dedicated with affection. The first performance took place at St Mary’s Church, High Street, Oxford on 26th April 2008.

Guy Woolfenden composed over 150 scores in his 37-year tenure as Head of Music at the Royal Shakespeare Company, and is known internationally for his compositions for wind ensembles of all sizes. The Oxford Sinfonia has rendered a valuable service to wind players everywhere by commissioning his attractive new work Reflections: Serenade No. 2 for wind dectet. Two lively and energetic movements surround a reflective Andante espressivo written in memory of Guy’s friend, the great English bassoonist William Waterhouse who died last year. Appropriately, this movement begins and ends with an elegaic bassoon solo, played with style and skill at the first performance by Simon Payne, the Sinfonia's chairman. This work will quickly enter the repertoire, joining works such as Woolfenden’s attractive Suite Française, based on music originally written for “Love’s Labour's Lost” at the RSC.

Keith Bowen, Double Reed News




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