Five Epigrams for Flute and Oboe (1980)

Programme Note: John Buckley

Five Epigrams for Flute and Oboe was commissioned by the contemporary music group Concorde, with funding from the Arts Council and was first performed by Madeleine Staunton and Helmut Seeber in Berlin in May 1980. The five short movements may be characterised as follows:

  1. A fusion of short fragmentary motifs making use of quarter tones and multiphonics
  2. Whispered and voice tones in the low registers create a shadowy and mysterious atmosphere
  3. The opening melodic line in the oboe is gradually transferred to the flute
  4. Freely interspersed elements from previous movements interact in the manner of a collage or mobile
  5. A simple ABABA structure employs two alternating pitches F and G which gradually go out of rhythmic phase (A) and a cadenza-like figure of intense activity (B)