Click the links below to see and hear each piece in the book.
In 1874, the Italian oboist and composer, Antonio Pasculli (1842-1924) composed his much-loved Etude Caractéristique for oboe and piano “Le Api” (The Bees). Similarly, in 1935, the British composer, Benjamin Britten (1913-1976), composed his famous Two Insect Pieces for Oboe and Piano (The Grasshopper and The Wasp). These two pieces have inspired me to compose my own oboe music in a tribute to the rarely-celebrated insect.
I. The Fly in the Ointment is a study that presents challenges in triplets, syncopation, chromaticism, playing an extended sixteenth note legato passage while bringing out the melody notes, ornamentation, large intervallic leaps in the melody and glissando.
II. Ants in Your Pants is an exercise in playing an extended sixteenth note legato passage while bringing out the melody notes, syncopation, upper range playing, sudden shifting between ranges, playing the same note in rapid succession, grace notes, and glissando. III. Don’t Let the Bedbugs Bite deals with the issues of septuplets, pacing, bringing out slow-moving melody notes while simultaneously tossing off a flourish of autonomous groups of somewhat jarring rhythms, quintuplets, and dramatic use of rests.
While these short studies contain various pedagogical elements, they are also meant to be amusing programmatic pieces and are suitable for performance in a recital.