Rodney Sharman: At Dusk


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At Dusk
(2003) was funded by Michael Sweeney.


solo bassoon | timpani | harp | strings


MAPL | ^
MAPL designation for Canadian broadcasters


Performance materials are in preparation and will be available through the Canadian Music Centre.


Personnel heard on the mozart and well beyond CD


June 9, 2003 - Glenn Gould Studio, Toronto -
Michael Sweeney and The Seiler Strings with harpist Erica Goodman and timpanist Nicholas Coulter


Rodney Sharman has provided the following programme notes:

"At Dusk for solo bassoon, harp, timpani and strings, was written at the request of soloist Michael Sweeney, to whom it is dedicated. It is an adaptation of Nocturne for bassoon and piano, written for Vancouver bassoonist, Christopher Millard.

"When I write for the bassoon as a solo instrument, I am haunted by the words of a colleague: 'Ah, but the bassoon has a soul!' With its enormous range, and warm, dark, somehow plaintive sound, I have no doubt his words are true." - R.S.


Programme Notes from the mozart and well beyond CD booklet:

At Dusk began life as the first movement of Sharman's large-scale work for voices and orchestra, Love, Beauty, Desire, composed in 2002 for the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. While working on this movement, which features a prominent part for solo bassoon, it occurred to the composer to make an arrangement of it for bassoon and piano for use on recital programmes. He dedicated this second version to Christopher Millard, then principal bassoonist of the VSO (latterly, principal of the National Art Centre Orchestra), who gave the première in recital at the Banff Centre (Canada).

For this recording, Sharman re-orchestrated and reworked the second version, now accompanying the bassoon with string orchestra, harp, and timpani. This third incarnation of the work reclaims some of the lushness and colour of the full-orchestra original while preserving the intimacy of the bassoon and piano version.

Composed in a Modernist idiom, Sharman's work explores an atonal sound world devoid of any reference to pre-20th-century compositional or stylist traditions. The miracle of modernist works such as At Dusk is that they are able, without referencing music before their time (that is, on their own terms), to conjure something as ephemeral as the special quality of the light and air just after sunset.

© 2004 Michael Sweeney


Critical comment on At Dusk


Rodney Sharman's compositions are registered with SOCAN.


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