for Malcolm Arnold's Clarinet Concerto No.2 for clarinet in Bb

Brian Inglis

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for Malcolm Arnold’s Clarinet Concerto No.2 for clarinet in Bb

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Composer Brian Inglis
Year of Composition 2021
Duration -
ISMN 9790570683987

Instrumentation Clarinet In Bb
Student Difficulty adv
Categories (all composers) ,
Catalogue ID ce-bi1cma1


Malcolm Arnold’s Clarinet Concerto No 2 op.115, in which this cadenza is designed to be embedded, was written for Benny Goodman and premiered by him in Denver, Colorado, USA in 1974.

This cadenza was commissioned by Alex Bondonno and premiered as part of his performance of the work with the City University Symphony Orchestra (conducted by Matthew Rowe), St Giles Cripplegate, London, UK on 5 December 1996:

[Arnold’s] cadenza instructions, ‘improvise cadenza as jazzy and way out as you please, based on the concerto’s themes’ seem to have been designed directly for Benny Goodman. However, Goodman in his premiere of the work, chose to play with a more traditional style. I have tried to emulate this with a cadenza composed by Brian Inglis. It derives directly from the surrounding music and is hopefully ‘way out’ enough.

Alessandro Bondonno, programme note, December 1996

Performers of and listeners to Malcolm Arnold’s music might be somewhat surprised by the use of multiphonics in the central ‘Lento’ section, but Arnold’s note does after all sanction ‘way out’, and they aren’t unusual in jazz. The rhythm, contour and emphasis on triadic structures here (where possible) are inspired by the fascinating central orchestral passage of Arnold’s slow movement (from rehearsal letter F) with its overlapping triads proceeding chromatically.