Nocturnal Conversation

One of the chief tools of an effective composer is contrapuntal imitation.  In my Nocturne for Woodwind Quartet, segments of the melody are constantly echoing back and forth among the four instruments.  Consider, for example, this section near the end where the bassoon carries the main melody.

As can be seen, the bassoon is in a constant imitative dialog with the other three instruments.  Most of the imitated figures here are brief, the longest comprising nine notes.  But coming in quick succession, they collectively generate constant contrapuntal interest.

In a couple of places in the piece, cascades of brief, closely clustered echoing figures create a murmuring effect, which seems to suggest to my ear the waters of a burbling brook rippling gently over stones.  Here is one such passage, leading into the re-entry of the first phrase of the melody in the clarinet part.

 

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