Duration – 10:43
A) Rhapsody for Oboe, Horn and Orchestra (2013)
B) Rhapsody for Oboe, Horn and Wind Ensemble (2015)
C) Rhapsody for Oboe, Horn and Piano (2013)
Rhapsody was commissioned by principal oboist Sarah Jeffrey and hornist Gabriel Radford of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. This husband and wife team wanted an addition to the limited repertoire for oboe and horn that would showcase this unique musical combination. Inspired by the 19th century rhapsodic form made famous by Liszt, Royer allows the oboe and horn to demonstrate their melodic expressiveness and technical prowess through a variety of musical styles and moods. In Rhapsody, Royer pays tribute to the 19th century tradition as well as 20th century rhapsodies by Bartok, Enescu, Debussy, Ravel and Rachmaninoff. As well, Royer was influenced by North and South American musical elements, combining them with Canadian connections. Composed in three continuous sections, Rhapsody starts with a slow section, featuring majestic and mysterious elements. The second section was written in an Eastern European playful dance-like style in a moderate speed, inspired by Bartok. The third section features virtuosic writing for the oboe and horn, including horn calls and fast passage work for the oboe.
The Rhapsody was originally written for Oboe, Horn and Orchestra, and was premiered by the Scarborough Philharmonic Orchestra with the composer conducting in 2013. The Rhapsody was then arranged in 2015 for Oboe, Horn and Wind Ensemble for the Scarborough Philharmonic Orchestra’s concert and recording project named Canadian Panorama.