• Edward Gregson
  • Tributes (2010)

  • Novello & Co Ltd (World)
  • clarinet, piano
  • 17 min

Programme Note

I completed Tributes in the summer of this year. Lasting some 16 minutes, there are five pieces in the set, each dedicated to a different composer and a different clarinettist (with whom I have had long musical associations). Each of the dedicatee composers wrote wonderfully for the clarinet and as a tribute to them I have tried to invade, indeed imitate, their stylistic worlds in these pieces. They are as follows:

1. to Francis Poulenc (for Emma Johnson) – a rather dreamy toccata, lyrical in feel, but interrupted by typically quirky and disruptive rhythmic episodes.
2. to Gerald Finzi (for John Bradbury) – slow and lyrical with long melodic arches.
3. to Igor Stravinsky (for Linda Merrick) – asymmetric rhythms dominate, with wide leaps in the solo line and bitonal harmony on the piano.
4. to Olivier Messiaen (for Nicholas Cox) – based on the ravishing slow movement for cello in his Quartet for the End of Time, a seamless melody is woven around ever-changing repeated chords on the piano.
5. to Béla Bartók (for Michael Collins) – the most virtuoso of the set; after a slow introduction, a swirling folk-like dance unfolds, mirroring Bartok’s penchant for simple modal shapes and ostinati rhythms.

In particular, I have had a long association with Michael Collins. I wrote my Clarinet Concerto for him in 1994, which was broadcast and recorded by him.

Edward Gregson - 2010

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