an impression of

ensemble flute, oboe, clarinet, horn, and bassoon
duration ~3:37
listen on soundcloud
score PDF, 105KB
performance history 05/02/1994 (undergraduate senior recital) by Kathleen Hansel, Anna C. Montejo, Barbara Benedett, Cheri Astolfi, and Jennifer Hugh
date completed 1992
era undergraduate


(Caveat: most pieces I composed as an undergraduate were used in my undergraduate senior recital.)

Written as a study in the impressionist style for a sophomore theory and composition course, this was the first piece I completed. Its original title was “(an impression of) Smiles”, which is more than a little cringe-inducing. Let’s just say that naming is hard, and my 19-year-old self wasn't nearly as clever as he thought; I renamed it years later when I was too embarrassed to even look at the title.

Musically it holds up well enough. I wish I could say that there was a lot of study supporting this, but the extent of my study—beyond listening to the predictable Debussy works—was to use a melody I considered to be more ambiguous in terms of its implied tonal center. The harmonic structure exploits that effect in each iteration of the theme, except for in the most obvious of places: the final chord. Oof. Nevertheless, there’s a charm an innocence to this piece that saved it from omission.