Elegy and Celebration

for clarinet and piano

Note by the composer:
After winning the 1988 Tovey Memorial Prize for composition it seemed appropriate to write a piece for the winner in performance that year, Gillian McCutcheon.
Completed in February 1988 the 'Elegy and Celebration' depicts two opposing qualities, one introverted and the other outward and brazen. 

The musical material of the 'Elegy' is sounded  in the clarinet's opening four-note motif, which is exploited in various transformations throughout the piece.  Some of the rhythmic characteristics are akin to that of a jazz improvisation, especially in the more extrovert and bouncy middle section.  The overall tempo indication 'Allegretto senza rubato' implies the deliberate repression of any emotion or sentiment, except in the peaceful closing section.  

The short and ebullient 'Celebration' starts out with serious intentions, but after the first fifteen bars it suddenly becomes much lighter, finally erupting in jubilant victory.

Concerts by Work