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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
Discography - Tributes
Michael Collins, clarinet; Michael McHale, piano
See full list
08 FEB 2012
Barnes Music Society
Methodist Church, Station Road, Barnes, UK
John Bradbury (clarinet) James Cryer (piano)
05 MAY 2011
Wigmore Hall, London
Michael Collins (clarinet) Piers Lane (piano)
09 MAR 2011
Linda Merrick (clarinet)
10 March - Seoul
29 May - The Warehouse, London
20 NOV 2010
The Crossing, Worksop, UK
Linda Merrick (clarinet) Benjamin Frith (piano)
17 OCT 2010
A Time There Was
Glasgow Concert Halls, Scotland
Michael Collins (clarinet) Michael McHale (piano)
28 APR 2010
Coventry University, UK
Linda Merrick (clarinet) Julian Hellaby (piano)
30 April - Hull University, UK
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