from: TIMEPEACE (12/30/03)

"Heart's Desire" for Contrabassoon and Piano"
by Donald Draganski

(Notes by the composer)

HEART'S DESIRE for contrabassoon and piano is a free fantasy based on the hymn "Herzlich tut mich verlangen" by the 17th century German composer Samuel Scheidt; the title of the work derives from the opening words of the hymn.  The idea of writing a work for contrabassoon occurred to me in the spring of 1991 after I had heard a tape of a recital which Susan Nigro had given a few months earlier.  Listening to the tape was a real ear-opener, for it demonstrated to me the potential that the contrabassoon has as a solo instrument in the hands of an accomplished player.  In writing the piece, I decided to emphasize the lyrical side of the instrument and downplay the usual grotesque cliches that are too often associated with the instrument.  Scheidt's hymn seemed the perfect vehicle to employ as a starting point for a piece that shows the contrabassoon's more songful side.  The work was commissioned by, and is fondly dedicated to, Susan Nigro.  It was premiered on September 22nd, 1991, in recital at Elmhurst College in Elmhurst, Illinois.