A Melding

concerto for Bb clarinet and chamber ensemble

Anthony Gilbert

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concerto for Bb clarinet and chamber ensemble

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Composer Anthony Gilbert
Year of Composition 2019
Duration ca.14'
Forces solo cl, fl, afl, ob, 2hn, perc, strings (
Categories (all composers) ,
Catalogue ID ce-ag3am1


The principal idea behind the structure of this work was unification. Obviously, being a concerto, there had to be a degree of conflict, but the material creating this had to come from a single source – in this case, a simple but rich 3-chord, 5-part harmonic structure, which we hear as background to the opening gestures, and a derivative more clearly at the opening of the second movement. This harmonic source is gradually absorbed (or ‘melded’) into the on-going dialogue between soloist and ensemble, and, indeed, between elements of the ensemble itself in movements I and III. This means that, unlike the more conventional concerto form, the same stream of linear and harmonic identities runs continuously through all three movements, gradually transforming the while, until finally all conflicting ideas meld together from Scene 5 forward to the conclusion. The only real change is of tempo, from scene to scene and movement to movement, with a clear sense of contemplation in movement II (subtitled ‘Round-table’), then a sense of dancing, moving towards rejoicing in movement III, subtitled ‘Round-dance’. Here, one element of the ensemble gradually discovers interesting points of contact with the soloist, and thereby guides the overall conflict towards a resolution – a ‘reformation’, in fact.