Groot, Rokus de

Rokus de Groot was born in Aalst on July 27, 1947. He is the brother of composer Jan Rokus van Rosendael. Education: He obtained his MA in musicology with honours at ...

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Winds of a far air : for flute and soprano saxophone, 1990 / Rokus de Groot

Publisher: Amsterdam: Donemus, cop. 1993
Publisher's number: 08294
Genre: Chamber music
Subgenre: Wood Wind ensemble (2-8 players)
Scoring: fl sax-s
Remarks: In opdracht van het Fonds voor de Scheppende Toonkunst. - Opgedragen aan Jos Zwaanenburg en Leo van Oostrom. - Tijdsduur: ca. 8'
Duration: 8'00"
Number of players: 2
Year of composition: 1990
Status: fully digitized (real-time delivery)

Program note (English): The title 'Winds of a far air' derives from a verse from 'Dàin do Eimhir' (Poems to Eimhir, girl with the fair hair) by the Scottish Gaelic poet Somhairle MacGill-Eain (Sorley MacLean). One of the themes of these poems is the ephemerity of unreturned love and the eternal nature of poetry. Those who have listened to the recitations by Maclean know how far his voice is carrying in time and distance, across land and water, though it is not a loud voice. The intensity of the oral poetry and songs of the Scottish Western Isles have awakened in me the love of melody in its finest details. MacLean's words refer to the elementary, dynamic nature of the Scottish Westcoast, foam, beach, wind, rock, ocean, lichen, light ever-changing, petrels and shearwaters, and, depending on the clarity of the sky, the manifestation and disappearance of archipelagos. Another source of inspiration for 'Winds of a far air' is connected with an island empire at the other end of Eurasia. It is the Japanese
traditional music for bamboo-flute (shakuhachi) which has suggested the dynamism of sound, between noise and pitch, never stable, never symmetrical. What strikes me in shakuhachi-music is the union of power and subtlety; this music is second to none in making audible the intensity and at the same time transience of sound. It is music which breathes. Near the end of 'Winds of a far air' inhalation seems to be omitted, as if in protest against mortality. Among the sounds of this piece for wind duet one hears some which are diffuse in a variety of ways. These do not constitute independent timbre composition, but possess a melodic function; this is the case in the opening where such a sound signals the birth of discrete pitch, and at the end where the music dissolves into breath. Initially the composition is a duet in the unusual sense, that flute and saxophone - as if they were one instrument - contribute to a single melody, by lending it alternately and simultaneously their own colour.
At the end of phrases the sound may divide into two separate voices. After a percussive central passage, during which the overall melodic contour is interrupted, the instruments become more independent. The music is moving through a constant circular change in its choice of pitches, taken from a single scale. In this way choices chase each other, trying to attain, but failing to reach completeness. - ROKUS DE GROOT

Sheet Music
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Score Download to Newzik (A3), 12 pages EUR 15.22
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