Four Autumn Landscapes, for clarinet and piano

2008 ASCAP Foundation Morton Gould Young Composers Award

Year
2007
Duration
17 minutes
"...Rogerson's 'Four Autumn Landscapes' was the most overtly beautiful, a musical postcard about seasonal change, from autumn to winter." -The Oregonian

This piece is drawn from several images of autumn I have from growing up in Buffalo, New York. The change of seasons, especially autumn to winter, is particularly pronounced and beautiful in Buffalo. When I was writing the piece, I was a year into my undergraduate studies at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. I missed being at home.

The first movement, A Cold Clear Dawn, describes a moment in morning in early fall when the air is mysterious and crisp, and summer has clearly shifted into fall.  When I was writing Maple Creek, the second movement, I thought of trees lining a creek, their leaves totally changed.  The title of the third movement, Scattered Leaves is pretty straightforward: I just imagined the wind picking up the leaves on the ground and in the air, and scattering them everywhere. The last movement, December Woods, is the most programmatic in nature. The transition from autumn to winter is an extraordinary, special time in Western New York.  All at once, one anticipates the harshness of winter and also the exquisite beauty and peace. This movement begins with stillness, out of which grows a storm. The storm quickly subsides and there is total calm: one may even be able to point out "the first snow." The very last section of the work depicts a moment when the snow has fallen, the air is still, and the last leaf falls from a lone tree.

Premiere performance below by Yao Guang Zhai and Lio Kuokman

Category
Chamber Works
Instrumentation
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