NICOLA LEFANU (b.1947): Songs without Words for Clarinet Quartet, HOWARD SKEMPTON (b.1947): Lullaby for Clarinet and Cello, Gemini Dances for Flute, Clarinet, Violin, Cello, Percussion and Piano, SADIE HARRISON (b.1965): Fire in Song for Clarinet, Viola and 2 Clapstick-playing Narrators, TONY COE (b.1934): Dream Odyssey for Clarinet Quintet, CYRIL SCOTT (1879-1970): Clarinet Quintet, REBECCA CLARKE (1886-1979): Prelude, Allegro and Pastorale for Clarinet and Viola.

Catalogue Number: 03W061

Label: Metier

Reference: MSV 28608

Format: CD

Price: $18.98

Description: Scott's 1951/53 Quintet is a characteristically fine work, harmonically rich in the bittersweet, rather tougher and more sinewy vocabulary that he adopted in many of his best works, as compared to the few pieces on which his popularity rested for too many years. LeFanu's pieces were written for a concert given for Musicians for Peace and Disarmament, and all incorporate folk elements alongside her own tonal but harmonically modern idiom, in four eloquent, uncompromising miniature songs of protest. Skempton, a longtime friend of the Gemini ensemble, is represented by his suite of appealing, uncomplicated miniatures, and the lovely Lullaby, which decorates a Bach-like cello line with a clarinet descant. Tony Coe's piece is warmly neo-romantic, not far in idiom from the Scott, with a detailed programmatic narrative. Harrison is an arch├Žologist-composer, literally as well as in her music, and Fire in Song is based on an Australian Aboriginal creation myth, using Aboriginal songs and dances in raucous, outdoor timbres and wood-block accented rhythms, bracketed by dark, abrasive commentaries on the catastrophic bush fires that swept much of Australia in 2019 and 2920. Clarke's seldom heard duo of 1941 brackets a rather ironic little toccata with two dark-hued outer movements, the second of which is a melancholy pastoral lament of considerable eloquence. Ian Mitchell (clarinet), Gemini.

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