Musica a Quattro
for clarinet in A, violin, viola, and cello(1998)
|I. Esitante, rapsodico
III. Cadenze capricciose
IV. Presto tenebroso
|Commissioned by Ensemble Capriccio
|Please note: the parts are digitally engraved.
Musica a Quattro is written for Ensemble Capriccio with all my imagination spurred not only by the wonderful technical skills of the four musicians, but also by their extraordinary musicianship, sensitivity, and beautiful tone. Adding the clarinet to the string trio allowed me to juxtapose, with delight, the low register of the clarinet with its analog in the viola, and its upper register with the violin.
The work begins with exposing the main theme by the strings. This theme and its intervals are repeated later, eventually with certain changes, in all five movements. Also, these main intervals are subsequently used in the entire work as sort of "building bricks" for all melodies, harmonies, and their permutations, which, in my opinion, gives a certain unity to the work in spite of a quite different character in each movement.
I hope that the titles of each movement will describe well the changing "mood" of this music.
Musica a Quattro was commissioned by Ensemble Capriccio in honor of Stanislaw Skrowaczewski's 75th birthday year, and to welcome Burt Hara back to the Twin Cities after his year as principal clarinet of the Philadelphia Orchestra. The commission was funded in part by generous contributions from the Schubert Club, Ken and Judy Dayton, and John and Kitty Pillsbury, as well as additional gifts by friends and supporters.
– Stanisław Skrowaczewski