Instrumentation: two bassoons and piano
Commissioned by Charles McCracken and Gordon Harris through American Composers Forum
Premiere: Recital, Charles McCracken and Gilbert Dejean, bassoons, Elizabeth DiFelice, piano, Christ & St. Steven's Episcopal Church, New York, NY, USA
Program Notes (Short Version — For Programs)
After hearing my music, and in particular, my Sonata for Bassoon and Piano, bassoonist Charles McCracken asked me to write Elegy for two bassoons and piano in memory of his father, Charles P. McCracken, a well-known and highly-regarded cellist in the New York musical community. His only request was that I quote a work that his father loved to play, one of the cello suites by J.S. Bach. I also love Bach’s music, so this was an easy request. I quote Bach’s Fifth Cello Suite, one of his father’s favorite pieces, and also Bach’s Third Cello Suite, a work that Charles Jr. likes, creating a sort of father and son pairing of references. Although Charles described his father as gregarious, fun loving and larger than life, this work is perhaps more earnest than humorous, but with a sense of playfulness in the way I manipulate the musical materials.
Elegy was commissioned by Charles McCracken and Gordon Harris through the American Composers Forum and is written in memory of Charles P. McCracken.
– Robert Paterson