• Richard Rodney Bennett
  • Commedia III (1973)

  • Novello & Co Ltd (World)

Commissioned by the Nash Concerto Society with funds from the Arts Council

  • 1(pic)1(ca)10/1100/2perc/pf[=cel]/str(
  • 17 min

Programme Note

This work was commissioned by the Nash Concert Society with funds provided by the Arts Council of Great Britain.

The form of the three works entitled Commedia (1972-3) is mosaic-like, composed of a number of short inter-related sections. The instruments are thought of as actors in a play meeting in ensemble ‘scenes’ but also being grouped and regrouped into various smaller units. In this work, written in January-February 1973 and scored for then players, four main sections frame three cadenza-like passages, the first for the woodwind (flute, oboe/cor anglais, bass clarinet), the second for strings (violin and cello), and the third for brass (horn and trumpet). The last section refers back increasingly to material used earlier until finally the work comes full circle and quotes from the opening. The headings of the sections are as follows;

Con fuoco
Quasi cadenza, scherzando (woodwind)
Quasi cadenza, drammatico (brass)
Con slancio

Commedia III is dedicated, in admiration, to the American composer, Leonard Roesman.