• John McCabe
  • Movements for Clarinet, Violin and Cello (1964)

  • Novello & Co Ltd (World)
  • cl/vn.vc
  • 13 min

Programme Note

Lento - Allegretto - Allegro agitato - Adagio - Allegro agitato - Allegretto - Lento

This work was written in 1964 for the Gabrieli Ensemble, and revised in 1966. It takes a broadly palindromic shape, in that the last three movements are palindromes of the first three, played in reverse order. The central part of the work is an Adagio in which the more elaborate central section is framed by more static sections in which the clarinet has a hesitant tune above sustained string notes.

Movements, which is composed using a free variation technique to develop the ideas, was written as a reaction to William Faulkner's The Sound and the Fury, in that the full sense of the book is apparent only after one has finished reading it - similarly, though there is nothing very advanced or "difficult" about the musical language here, the music must ideally be appreciated as a whole, despite the diverse characteristics of the various short movements. The approach to overall texture and mood, however, is more that of a divertimento rather than an intellectual exercise for its own sake.

© 1991 by John McCabe