By Luna Pearl Woolf | For Soprano, Oboe and Bassoon | 7′
Composer: Luna Pearl Woolf
Text by: On the poem by Robert Frost.
Year Composed: 2000
Instrumentation: For Soprano, Oboe and Bassoon
Format: Full Score + 2 Parts
Page Size: Letter
Catalog Number: OM0
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From the composer:
Reluctance was composed in 2000, for the Syrinx ensemble, Catalina Arrubla, oboe and Camilo Rojas, bassoon. In Robert Frost’s equivocal poem, the final couplet of each stanza brings a change, either in tone or perspective. Likewise, the music is marked at these moments with wide motion in the vocal line, evoking in one case dismay, in another frustration, in a third a searching journey. Interludes precede the stanzas with a suspended counterpoint in the Oboe and Bassoon. When the voice enters it transforms the ensemble into one neither vocal nor instrumental, but evincing properties of each, before establishing a more narrative style and drawing out the poetry’s earnest contention.
Out through the fields and the woods
___And over the walls I have wended;
I have climbed the hills of view
___And looked at the world and descended;
I have come by the highway home,
___And lo it is ended.
The leaves are all dead on the ground,
___Save those that the oak is keeping
To ravel them one by one
___And let them go scraping and creeping
Out over the crusted snow,
___When others are sleeping.
And the dead leaves lie huddled and still,
___No longer blown hither and thither;
The last lone aster is gone;
___T he flowers of the witch hazel wither;
The heart is still aching to seek,
___But the feet question “Whither?”
Ah, when to the heart of man
___Was it ever less than a treason
To go with the drift of things,
___To yield with a grace to reason
And bow and accept the end
___Of a love or a season
Commission/Dedication: To the Syrinx Ensemble.
Premiere: First performed in September 2000 at Smith College, Northampton, MA by the Syrinx Ensemble.