The Grown Person's Guide to the Orchestra: Woodwinds

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To kick off the new year, the Brothers Balliett kick off a multi-week series that makes a direct response to Britten's "Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra". The "Grown Person's Guide" will challenge today's listener with the some of the most cutting edge music for each of the standard instruments, and many of the more bizarre and obscure ones as well. Each instrument will enjoy its moment in the spotlight, and this week the brothers begin at the top of the page with the woodwinds.

What better way to start than with an Overture for 12 flutes? What better showcase for the oboe than Chemins IV, a fully orchestrated version of the Berio oboe sequenza? The clarinet dazzles in Scelsi's Prayer for a Shadow and the bassoon sings all the way through Henze's New Folk Songs. Stick around for the surprisingly acrobatic Narwhal for contrabassoon, and be sure to tune in next week for the brass chapter of the Grown Person's Guide.