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Onyx Variations - 2001



Woodwind Quintet (Flute/Picc, Oboe/Eng.Hn, Clarinet/Bass Clarinet, Horn, Bassoon)


  • Premiere: December 1, 2001, Music Gallery, Toronto/Ontario, Earshot Concerts, Onyx Wind Quintet


1.  Theme (solo flute)

2.  Playful1 (flute, horn)

3.  Somber (eng hn, horn, bassoon)

4.  Lyric 1 (oboe clarinet, horn, bassoon)

5.  Fast (piccolo, oboe, clarinet, horn, bassoon)

6.  Slow (flute, eng horn, bass clarinet, horn, bassoon)

7.  Playful 2 (eng horn, bass clarinet, horn, bassoon)

8.  Spirited (flute, eng horn, horn)

9.  Lyric 2 (eng horn, bassoon)

10. Fugato (solo clarinet)


During my tenure as music director of Earshot Concerts, I composed new pieces for many of these concerts. Onyx Variations comes from this period.


A large work, Onyx Variations only uses the full contingent in the middle two movements.  The rest are made up of subsets, with a palindrome structure (1 2 3 4 5 5 4 3 2 1).  Part of the motivation was to facilitate ease of rehearsing, (i.e. the horn and flute players were living together, and the clarinetist was living in Montreal) but also to create an interesting structure.



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