Thomas: Quartet 'Peregrine Tones' for Oboe and String Trio
Code: JP1055 ISMN: 979-0-3019-0484-3
The Quartet by David Evan thomas was commissioned by Dr. Abraham Franck for Marilyn Zupnik, former Principal Oboe of the Minnesota Orchestra, who premiered it at the 1998 International Double Reed Society Convention in Tempe, AZ. 'Peregrine' is used here in the wandering sense; much of the musical material has that quality. The bird-like intelligence of the oboe, as well as its ability to soar, may also bring the falcon to mind. There's another, more obscure musical reference: in Gregorian Psalm singing, the tonus peregrinus is one of the psalm tones, one which has a 'wandering'tenor.
The work is introduced by a sinewy oboe melisma. The main theme of the last movement recalls this idea, placing it in a rhythmic, more buoyant context. Between these outer movements lies a slow movement which begins with great spaciousness, proceeds through song, and concludes all in a rush.