Quintet for Clarinets
for 3Bb cl, Bb bass cl, Eb contra cl


Much of the clarinet's wide range of expression is used within the two movements of this quintet. In the first movement, a slow, somewhat melancholy melody is played by the bass clarinet while the other instruments supply a slowly progressing somber harmonic backdrop. The second movement contrasts this mood by opening with quick, lightly articulated motives that eventually coalesce into a melodic statement. Intensity and drive increase throughout this movement until a climax of extreme range and dynamics is reached. In light of the somber first movement and the light-hearted opening of the second movement, this high climax seems to add a bit of irony -- as if the joy of the second movement is somehow being sabotaged by the melancholia of the first. There is a brief episode of syncopated repeated chords, after which the second movement's opening material returns and the piece is brought to its conclusion.

(duration ca. 9:30)