A POTTLE OF FAGOTTS for bassoon quartet
A suite of three movements for bassoon quartet. Score and parts are included.
POTTLE: An old English liquid measure, bassoon-like in pronunciation. If the sound of the bassoon could be converted into liquid, it might, I believe, be of the colour, consistency and taste of maple syrup.
FAGOTT: German for bassoon. Not to be confused with FAGGOT: a bundle of sticks, a liver ball, an irritating woman or, in America, a male homosexual!
SERPENT: An obsolete wind instrument sometimes found lurking in dusty cupboards in old churches where it provided an accompaniment to Sunday hymn-singing in the 18th and 19th centuries. Serpents have a similar range to that of the fagott, but are of uncertain and dangerous intonation.
Serpents on Sunday I imagined four serpents preaching from the pulpit to a congregation which becomes ever more restless and fidgety until called to order by the pontificating preachers.
Soulful Song Based on the bassoon theme from my score to Elizabeth Jane Baldry's short film "Pottle o' Brains". The bassoon soloist on the soundtrack was Alison Woodward, for whose highly personal performance style the melody was tailored.
Sixes and Sevens A condition frequently experienced on Sundays, with or without serpents. As befits the title, the music alternates between six and seven beats per bar. Paul Lewis
Duration c.10 minutes