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Clarinet Concerto (Lost Lanes, Shadow Groves)

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Parts  

Clarinet, strings (6.5.4.4.2)

Duration (approx)   20 minutes
Composed   2008
Publisher   Music Haven
Commission  

Presteigne Festival of Music and the Arts Ltd.

First performance   21st August 2008
Venue   St Andrew's Church, Presteigne, Wales
Orchestra / Ensemble   Presteigne Festival Orchestra
Conductor   George Vass
Soloists / Players   Catriona Scott (clarinet)
Movements  

1. Broad Sky - interlude i
2. Dark Lane - interlude ii
3. Around the Church - interlude iii
4. The Far Grove

Audio Samples

Broad Sky (opening)  --  listen while viewing a score sample
Dark Lane (opening)  --  listen while viewing a score sample
Around the Church (opening)  --  listen while viewing a score sample
The Far Grove (opening)  --  listen while viewing a score sample

Programme Notes

The title suggests not only a physical rural remoteness but also a sense in which certain paths - perhaps glimpsed in the burgeoning faculties of childhood - may not have been pursued and yet continue to resonate throughout our lives. The village of Ingworth in Norfolk is one such remote place that has exerted a profound influence on my creative outlook. By coincidence Catriona Scott, for whom this work was written, also has an affecting connection with that place from her own early childhood and I have been intrigued by the possibility that our impressions of that now rather remote time may concur.

The titles of the movements have a personal significance for me: 'Broad Sky' is a gently breezy evocation of that part of Norfolk, which introduces fragments that are heard in the subsequent movements.

'Dark Lane' rather graphically describes an unsettling experience: Out walking one cold January at dusk I became aware of a sound that grew in intensity and uncannily resembled a huge beating heart, unseen, a few yards off. It seemed to pursue me as I walked down the lane through the mist and, although I later discovered a rational explanation for the sound, I was struck by the transformation of that familiar place into somewhere quite sinister and unknown.

'Around the Church' is a reflection on the numberless people who, through the ages, have looked out on these same scenes, many of whom now rest in the churchyard.

Finally, 'The Far Grove' suggests a distant point, still bathed in evening light but impossible to reach before night closes in. The desire to be there is perhaps sufficiently rewarding and transforming.

The movements are linked by interludes for solo clarinet, which prepare the listener for the next part of the journey.

The work was commissioned for the Presteigne Festival by Mr Keith Stanley and the John S. Cohen Foundation.

Score Samples

Click a score sample below to view a larger version of the score...

Broad Sky (opening)

Dark Lane (opening)

Around the Church (opening)

The Far Grove (opening)

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Part of the Presteigne Festival.

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