Back in late May, I was invited by my Fellow Twin Cites colleague, Jonathan Postuma, to compose an original work for Woodwind Trio, OR Sextet. Being the overachiever I can sometimes be, I composed a piece for both Woodwind trios AND combined Sextet, which became Not a Flower Suite. Thanks to this invitation, I was able to witness this colorful smorgasbord of Woodwind Trios and Sextets proficiently played by Reed ^5 and Plumeria Winds.
As Jonathan was the primary composer, most of the program was arranged to include his newest Flower-themed pieces. He has been composing “A Musical Field Guide to Minnesota Wildflowers” for quite some time and the program had a rich bouquet of his works. The pieces were richly varied and luckily I had a pencil to write down some thoughts.
The first collection was Trio No. 5 for Oboe, Clarinet, and Bassoon
“Forget Me not”- I love the conversations between the Oboe and Clrinet!
“Spring Beauty”-Playful but relaxing to listen to
“Virginia Bluebell”-Very different charachter than the last
“Virginia Waterleaf”- Those are some TASTY Bassoon lines!
The second collection was Trio No. 6 for Oboe, Clarinet, and Bassoon
“Hoary Vervian”- It was fun watching the Clarinet and Oboe non-verbally taunte each other. 🙂
“Showy Goldenrod” and/ or ” Purple Coneflower” (I’m not sure which this comment went to) – This piece reminds me of Zelda Oracle of Seasons
“Fragrant Giant Hyssop”- GREAT eye contact betwen the Players
The third was Trio no. 9 for Oboe Soprano Saxophone and Bassoon
The pieces were ” Marsh Marigold”, “Carolina Puccoon”, “Swamp Buttercup”, and “Golden Alexanders”. According to my notes this suite was very Yellow and I would love to see a slideshow with all of the accompanying flowers in the background if it’s performed again, or see it published in a guide with QR codes leading to a recording of the accompanying piece.
The fourth suite was “Trio no. 11 for Oboe, Tenor Saxophone, and Bassoon.
I enjoyed the Stravinski-esque textures in these pieces as well as the expertly executed use of extended techniques by the performers.
Bravo Jonathan! I would love to see a slideshow with all of the accompanying flowers in the background if it’s performed again, or see it published in a guide with QR codes leading to a recording of the accompanying piece.
My piece was Number 5. I felt that my piece was overall performed well and both trios seemed to be having fun, which is a win in my book.
Jared Coffin’s piece, Pulling up Dinosaurs, was next and made use of the type of extended techniques that reminded me of geysers slowly bubbling underneath the surface of the earth with their gas seeping out of the ground before a massive explosion. The piece was called Pulling up Dinosaurs and sounded just like a scene from Jurrassic Park to my ears. Jared did a fantastic job creating an atmosphere to be experienced and transporting us out of the concert hall.
The concert ended with thie GORGEOUS piece composed by Elizabeth King that combined the trios into a sextet. Emily’s beautiful melodies brought the hues of emerald green into my mind’s eye and reminded me of walking through an enchanted forest. This piece was Beautiful and the blend of the performers made it even more so!
Plumeria Winds includes Rachel Messing- oboe, Caitlin Beare- clarinet, and Scott Pool- bassoon.
Reed^5 includes Susan Miranda- oboe, Brian Handeland-saxophone, and Cody Hunter-bassoon.