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⇒ 5 more: Clarinet (B♭) • Violin 1 • Violin 2 • Viola • Cello
|Work Title||Clarinet Quintet No.1|
|Alternative. Title||“Farallon Quintet” for Clarinet and String Quartet|
|Composer||Sydeman, William Jay|
|I-Catalogue NumberI-Cat. No.||IWS 8|
|Year/Date of CompositionY/D of Comp.||2012|
|First Performance.||May 24, 2014, Farallon Quintet (Natalie Parker, clarinet; Dan Flanagan & Matthew Oshida, violins; Elizabeth Prior, viola; Sarah Rommel, cello). Trinity Chamber Concerts. Trinity Chapel, Berkeley, CA.|
|Average DurationAvg. Duration||14 minutes|
|Composer Time PeriodComp. Period||Modern|
|Instrumentation||clarinet, 2 violins, viola, cello|
I composed this work because I was unable to locate another piece of the same ilk which Eric Van Dyke, a clarinetist here, was interested in. After two hours of fruitless searching through my computer and music stacks, I gave up and wrote this instead. It is a "musicianly" work, quite classic in its construction – that is, with recognizable themes and recognizable development of those recognizable themes.
Movement 1 begins with a pleasant (can you believe it?) tune in the clarinet, followed by a dancy counterpart. Pleasant returns and is developed, accompanied by a somewhat odd ostinato in the strings. Then comes a variation on pleasant, slower and somewhat melancholic, the second part of which darkens considerably – and then yet another variation, even dancier – then a repeat lest you forget what you heard. The first seven notes provide most of the material for the whole movement, albeit developed in a variety of ways and moods. The playing style is decidedly classical.
Movement 2 is whimsical, moving from pesante-like material to the dance, again based on the first few notes. It initially brings to mind corpulent Germans in lederhosen. This idea (perhaps not politically correct) is superseded by some odd trills in the strings. The trills become background for a somewhat ditzy tune in the clarinet. Lederhosen tune reappears as a long somber melody in the viola, treated fugue-like of all things, with the clarinet having the last word as it moves from quasi-cadenza to fragmented repeats of LH while the strings rush about seemingly somewhat aimlessly. Fortunately they all end together.
Movement 3 is a rush of good fun, mainly in 6/8, rondo-like in the great tradition – quite brilliant as you might expect with a bravo-yelling pop-up-from-your-seats type ending.
– W. Jay Sydeman,