Peacock Tales (Millennium) for solo clarinet and tape - Version of Clarinet Concerto


solo clarinet and tape (CD)

Original Clarinet Concerto commissioned by The Swedish Radio Orchestra

First Performance

Score and CD on special sale from the Hire Library

Programme Notes

The clarinet has always had an important role in my music; 

In Lamento (1982) for clarinet and strings, the soloist is faced with extreme shifts regarding emotional content and expression.

In a number of pieces I've focused on the clarinet's ability to embody a grotesque and sometimes demonic character, for instance in the orchestral piece Liquid Marble, the tango/varieté-song En gul böjd banan, and especially in Paulinesian Procession, where 11 clarinets in an extremely high register produce a quite incredible sound...

Peacock Tales  written during 3 intense months in 1998, and premiered in October the same year by Martin Fröst with Leif Segerstam conducting the Swedish Radio Orchestra - is preceded by a number of smaller pieces, all written for Martin Fröst, such as: Close Up (1990) for clarinet (or other instrument ad lib.), Tampere Raw(1991) for clarinet and piano, Nursery Rhymes (1996), and The Peacock Moment(1997) for clarinet and piano/tape.

The original version of Peacock Tales is ca 35 minutes, scored for solo clarinet and large orchestra.
The Millennium version for clarinet and tape is ca 12 minutes.

That mime/dance should be an integral part of the work was suggested by Martin from the outset, hence an important aspect of the composition was to make use of his unique combination of instrumentalist and mimer/dancer.

After the introductory very soft solo clarinet music, the strings gradually come in and the clarinet explodes in shrieks and wild glissandos.

Here starts a journey through many different musical and emotional "stations", where the soloist sometimes appears masked, sometimes unmasked.


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