JOHN MCCABE (b.1939): Movements for Clarinet, Violin and Cello, Sonata for Clarinet, Cello and Piano, Rauvel's Rondeaux for Clarinet, Violin and Piano, Clarinet Quintet "La Donna".
Catalogue Number: 09O072
Reference: GMCD 7369
Description: Fauvel's Rondeaux is based on material from the composer's ballet Edward II, which features a troupe of entertainers for satirical effect, who are also part of the murderous treachery that unfolds in the drama. This trio is a large-scale rondo, with coarsely lively dances and a deliberately vulgar refrain alternating with intensely chromatic material of increasingly sinister character as he drama progresses. The other trio is earlier - 1969 - and sparer in texture and harmony, with five contrasting linked sections in which the clarinet leads the predominantly somber or nervously ironic, rather Shostakovich-like melodic material through a series of dialogues with the other instruments. Plucked piano strings toll like distant bells in the lonely, elegiac slow sections. The quintet is a recent work in four sections played without a break. It progresses from a hesitant opening for the strings, suddenly enlivened by the entry of the clarinet, to an ongoing dialogue between the two factions - sometimes abrasive, sometimes playful - which traverses a lively scherzo and an intensely lyrical slow section before settling on a dancing finale with shared material. Movements is an engaging divertimento constructed as an ingenious palindrome bracketing a lyrical adagio. Linda Merrick (clarinet), Aaron Shorr (piano), Kreutzer Quartet.