The Dolci Show

Dolci Show #16: The Bill Douglas Oboe Sonata

July 11, 2020 Ted Rust and Viva Knight Season 1 Episode 16
The Dolci Show
Dolci Show #16: The Bill Douglas Oboe Sonata
Show Notes

Sonata for Oboe and Piano (2004)                                            Bill Douglas (1944-)

  1. Cantabile 
  2. Tenderly 
  3. Singing, Playful 

Bill Douglas is a Canadian-born bassoonist, pianist and composer who now lives in Boulder, Colorado. He toured and recorded for thirty years with the classical clarinetist Richard Stoltzman and with his own jazz ensembles. Among the musicians he says influenced him are J. S. Bach, Bill Evans, Keith Jarrett, Josquin Desprez, William Byrd, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Ralph Vaughan Williams and Ali Akbar Khan. He wrote this sonata for the oboist Alan Vogel. He has written that “(his) basic philosophy of music is that it can be helpful to the world. It can evoke such positive emotions as compassion, tenderness, strength, nobility, upliftedness, and joy.”

Bill Douglas provided this program note in the score: “The first and third movements follow the standard bebop jazz form: a somewhat complex theme played in unison, followed by an improvisation on the chord progression of the theme and then a return to the theme with variations. In this case, however, the ‘improvisation’ sections are completely written out. The third movement was influenced by West African rhythms.” 

Scores and recordings of Bill Douglas’ work, including a wonderful CD of vocal rhythm exercises, are available at

photo ©Lefteris Padavos 2016