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How Like Pellucid States, Daddy (1994)
For bassoon quartet
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First performed June 13, 1994, for WNYC-FM Radio's 50th Anniversary, by New York Bassoon Quartet; Alice Tully Hall, New York, NY

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Duration  4 minutes

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Recording
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The New York Bassoon Quartet Leonarda LE348 (2002)

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Program note

In reading John Ashbery’s poem, No Longer Very Clear, I was struck by the contrasting imagery in the adjacent phrases “How like pellucid statues, Daddy, Or like a…engine.” The frozen translucent statues seemed to me to be a marvelous foil for the pulsating hot energy of an engine – both images, as seen through the eyes of a child, readily evoked musical ideas. The unique sound of double reeds seemed at once to be the right choice, and fulfilled a desire I have always had to write for multiple bassoons. The work utilizes row techniques, and is in two parts – the first a picture of the frozen pellucid statues, and the second, an aural portrait of the energy and acceleration inherent in the words “an engine.”

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                     — John Corigliano

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