Composed by Joan Tower (1988)
For Oboe and Wind Quartet
Published by Associated Music Publishers
Duration: ca. 10 minutes
Includes score and parts
Oboe (soloist), Flute, Clarinet in Bb, Horn in F, and Bassoon
Island Prelude was commissioned by three wind ensembles – Quintessence, the Dorian Quintet, and the Dakota Quintet – as part of a National Endowment for the Arts Consortium Commissioning Grant to have three groups premeire three works by three composers. Nancy Clauter and Quintssence gave the first performance in the Kerr Cultural Center of Arizona State University on April 9, 1989. The Prelude is one of the rare wind quintets where one instrument is a soloist throughout, supported by the rest of the ensemble. Here, the oboe takes the lead. The complicated rhythmic nuances give the piece the improvisatory feel of a prelude. The varied colors of the wind instruments join and separate from the oboe throughout the work, providing an ever-changing background for its arabesques.
— Ed Matthew