Concerto da camera II

for Clarinet, String Quartet and Piano

Shulamit Ran

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Publisher: Theodore Presser Company
Print Status: Rental

Quick Overview

"Concerto da Camera II" is a work for six instruments which may be further grouped into three separate entities ? clarinet, string quartet, piano. In this combination, chosen by the work?s commissioning organizations (the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center in conjunction with Mount Holyoke College), lies the work?s first challenge. While pairings of any two of these three ?sound types? abound in the concert literature, the three together form a far less common soundscape. The main difficulty appears in the necessity to reconcile the potential of both the clarinet and the piano of acting in a soloistic capacity when pitted against the string quartet. Indeed, the three movements of the Concerto deal with this problem in various ways, with the balance of power between the six instruments? potential for unity and contrast, solo and ensemble playing, continually shifting and changing.

Yet another, more delicate, balance of power is at play here, namely, the relationship between the external, foreground level of the piece and a subtler background level. What, at first, appear like small, gentle melodic strands, mere echoes or residues of the main events, gradually assume an inner life of their own. Never actually taking over yet always there, a salient, if quiet, factor within the work?s compositional fabric and evolving organism.

Though each movement includes numerous tempo fluctuations, the overall thrust of the work clearly suggests a fast-slow-fast framework, with the last movement being a loosely structured, occasionally tempestuous Rondo.

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Additional Information

Commission Commissioned by the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center in conjunction with Mount Holyoke College for the College?s Sesquicentennial, 1987.
Composition Date 1987
Duration 00:17:00
Premiere 1987. Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, on a 10-city tour.

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