Desert Pass(2023)

Desert Pass (1976) by Helen Frankenthaler
Smithsonian American Art Museum Bequest of Edith S. and Arthur J. Levin


Desert Pass is a work that is a response to a painting of the same name by the American abstract expressionist Helen Frankenthaler. The composition, like the canvas, is deeply contemplative in nature and progresses through a series of metamorphoses in character. The choice of hues, along with the great fluidity of the painting enabled the composition’s structure and developmental aspects. This work is the third “study” in a series of compositions influenced by Helen Frankenthaler’s visual works. (Study on Frankenthaler III: “Desert Pass”, 1976. Desert Pass (2023), for wind quintet, was commissioned by the Zéphyros Winds and is dedicated to Saxton Rose (Bassoonist of Zéphyros Winds and Dean of the School of Music at the University North Carolina School of the Arts.)

Zéphyros Winds. Fatma Daglar (oboe), Jennifer Grim (flute),
Marianne Gythfeldt (clarinet), Saxton Rose (bassoon), and Zohar Schondorf (horn)