Welcome to my blog

I have created this site in order to provide performers, listeners and composers with a description of a composer's experiences with the creative process. The posts will provide discussions of the inspirations, challenges, and successes of a composer from the inception of the piece to the culmination in performance. I will provide a link to where you can see and hear the works in progress. Comments and questions are always welcomed. They will not posted unless you grant me permission.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Burnsiana Movement 4

All I can say is that Robert Burns must have had a lot of girlfriends and most of them named Jean. When I told the Avion Saxophone Quartet and its director that one of the poems I was using was Bonnie Jean, I discovered that the actual poem is called Jean. Bonnie Jean is a different poem. Anyway, here is the text that influenced the fourth movement:


Of a' the airts the wind can blaw,
I dearly like the west.
For there the bonnie lassie lives,
The lassie I lo'e best:
There wild woods grow, and rivers row,
And monie a hill between;
But day and night may fancy's flight
Is ever wi' my Jean.

I see her in the dewy flowers,
I see her sweet and fair:
I hear her in the tunefu' birds,
I hear her charm the air:
There's not a bonnie flower that springs
By fountain, shaw, or green;
There's not a bonnie bird that sings,
But minds me o' my Jean.

I original thought of setting this in a slow tempo but when I got into it, I was impressed by the references to nature and the lightness of the expression of love, that I chose a slow waltz instead. This tempo and style also fits the sequence of movements better as I used a slow tempo for movement 2. There is slight polytonality in this movement. The Baritone Saxophone starts out in F, The Tenor and Alto Saxophones in Bb, and the Soprano Saxophone in C. These keys are closely related so there is not much dissonance.

The form is AABAABCCDBAAB. Contrast is created through melodic material, texture, orchestration and articulation. The tenor and baritone saxophones have a lot of melody in some of the sections. The music almost sounds flirtatious rather than a serious love.

To see and hear what I have discussed, go to http://www.cooppress.net/Burnsiana_blog.html. You will be viewing a transposed score.

As always, your comments are appreciated.

Dr. B

No comments: