Devil's Gate

by Matthew Whittall

for oboe, bassoon and piano

Empty sheet

Matthew Whittall

Devil's Gate

Fennica Gehrman


Devil’s Gate (Pirun portti) is a mountain pass in Finnish Lapland, a
beautifully picturesque spot accessible only by a two- to three-day
hike. A deep cleft between two nearly symmetrical fells, the approach to
it can be seen from quite some distance, beginning from the forested
valley floor below where the trail starts, rising through a gently rocky
slope up to the summer snow line. Though not a long or excessively
challenging hike, the pass itself is deceptive, because every time it
appears the crest is within reach, yet another slope is revealed. The
terrain suddenly becomes rocky and uneven toward the end, with a last
smooth ascent before finally passing through the top to a broad, deep
dale and an endless, rolling vista of fells. (One does, of course, want
to pause periodically to gaze back over the view and take photos.)

With this topography in mind I wrote this piece, packed with joyous,
companionable music for the three instruments, in remembrance of a great
day’s walking under sunny skies with a close friend.


ob, bsn, pno


Chamber Works


Korsholm Music Festival, August 2015, Vaasa, Finland

Commisioned by / dedications

Commissioned by the Korsholm Music Festival

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