Woodwind Quintet 2, movement 2 “Alone”
2. Alone – features the oboe soloing over the other instruments over an extreme range of pitches. I marked the oboe dynamics for this movement “ad lib”, while the rest of the quintet plays very quietly with no vibrato. The harmony begins on stacked 7ths which I find particularly moving, first hearing this harmony as a teenager on the gorgeous strings and harp opening of Igor Stravinsky’s “Orpheus” .
The oboe’s melody is a simple repeated diatonic scale, with octave transpositions at nearly every step. Even a scale can be beautiful in the right setting with the right artists. That melody’ direction changes from time to time, usually quietly punctuated by soft percussive key slaps. From H, about the halfway point on, the accompaniment instruments’ harmonies are heard in retrograde diminution.
VSL MIDI mock-up