header logo


for bassoon and string quartet, by Anthony Ritchie, Opus 219 (2023)

Farewell was composed for the Martinborough Music Festival, September 24th 2023.

The work is in a single movement in three main sections, forming a simple ABA structure. It is lyrical in character and opens with a simple lullaby-like theme on bassoon which is varied amongst the group. The cello then plays a more passionate melody which provides a contrast, before the music subsides back into the opening theme again, where it is decorated with semiquavers.

There is a short transition to the quick middle section which features a repeated 'riff' or chord sequence, subject to numerous variations. The music is edgy and energetic in character, building to a climax where the bassoon has a cadenza-like passage over a repeated B flat on the cello and viola.

The rhythmic feel of the piece changes and the strings play a wistful theme connected to previous ideas. Following variations on this theme, the edgy, energetic music returns and with added propulsion leads to the main climax of the piece. A gradual transition leads back to the opening lullaby, and the music ends quietly and reflectively.

Dedicated to Donald Armstrong

Duration: 14 minutes approx.