Desert Scenes

1993 – for bassoon & piano – 4:50

Sheet Music

Score (pdf)
Bassoon Part (pdf)


Date: March 1997
Musicians: Lisa Griffiths (bassoon), Theresa Lin (piano)
Engineer: Frank Horvat
Location: University of Toronto, Faculty of Music

  1. Desert Scenes (studio demo) Lisa Griffiths (bassoon), Theresa Lin (piano) 04:50


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Programme Notes

I composed this piece when I was 18 years old, I felt obliged to enter a piece in the composition class of the local Kiwanis festival. I felt proud of my first “official” composition. When I attended my adjudication though, the presiding composer accused the piece of being “too ethnocentric”. It took me a few years of expanding my musical horizons and further compositional experimentation to realize what he was talking about. What I had thought was authentic “Middle Eastern” influences was really just a western-19th century-romanticized-Scheherazade musical ideal.

But listening back on it, I’m not ashamed of the result. What I can also hear are lyrical melodies from the bassoon that convey a melancholy timbre. I also hear chord charges from minor to major and back to minor that creates subtle mood changes, somewhat reflective of the personality of that teenage composer back then.

– Frank Horvat, November 2006