Quartet: Peregrine Tones


Oboe, violin, viola, cello–18′

A challenging three-movement work for oboe quartet of shifting meters and textures.

Listen to a performance by Marilyn Zupnik and friends:


Quartet: Peregrine Tones (1998)

Oboe quartet: oboe, violin, viola, cello
18′ duration
Commissioned by Abraham Franck for Marilyn Zupnik.
Premiere—1998, by Marilyn Zupnik, oboe, International Double Reed Society Convention, Tempe, AZ.
Published by Jeanné Inc..

Program Note

The Quartet was commissioned by Dr. Abraham Franck (1919-2019 ) for Marilyn Zupnik, 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. In between lies a slow movement which begins with great spaciousness, proceeds through song, and concludes all in a rush.


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