Instrumentation oboe solo

Timing 5′

Composed 2010

World Premiere March 25, 2012, Western Front, Vancouver, British Columbia. Beth Orson, oboe

Recorded by Beth Orson on My Soul Upon My Lips: Music for Woodwinds

Programme Notes

quince on a white backgroundSome Biblical scholars believe the fruit that tempted Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden was not an apple, as the story is usually translated, but a quince. Though most varieties are too hard and acidic to eat raw, quinces are frequently (though judiciously) used in preserves to add a distinctive edge and flavour. As the orchestration books tell us, the oboe too adds a distinctive edge to the sound of any ensemble, distinctive enough that one must be judicious in its use. The quince thus provided an appropriate inspiration for this solo oboe work about temptation with a bite underneath.

Music is sound, of course, and to the ear, “quince” could well be “quints” and so the number five pervades the entire piece. The interval of a fifth is frequently heard, and rhythmically every moment of this five-minute work is part of a five, be that a quintuplet, a measure of 5/4, 5/8, or 5/16, or a combination of fives within fives.

Quince is dedicated to oboist/English hornist Beth Orson with thanks for her invaluable advice. It was made possible through an Artist Grant from the Canada Council for the Arts.

PDF score (free download—go, play!)



Quince performed by Beth Orson, oboe; from the album “My Soul Upon My Lips”


Performed by oboist Kristen Cooke

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