A4 score 0571555802 (fp) and parts 0571555810 (fp) on sale

Programme Notes

My Clarinet Quartet, which I wrote in the early months of 1984, is in two sharply contrasted movements. The first, a theme and variations, begins by alternating allegretto sections, which are dominated by the clarinet, with slow, sustained music for the string trio. The two types of music are next superimposed; then all the material heard so far is swiftly recapitulated in more complex superimpositions, like a dream flashback, before the last, slow variation. The second movement, which is much shorter, is for the most part a fast and furious scherzo. Its momentum is finally halted by a soft intrusion of the first movement’s theme, and the quartet ends slowly and quietly. The work was commissioned by the Nash Ensemble with funds provided by the Arts Council of Great Britain, and first performed by them, with Michael Collins playing clarinet, at the Wigmore Hall, London, on 4 July 1984.

© David Matthews

Clarinet Quartet

No Venue (King's Lynn, Norfolk, United Kingdom)

Contemporary Consort

Clarinet Quartet

Wigmore Hall (London, United Kingdom)

Nash Ensemble

Clarinet Quartet

BBC Radio 3 (United Kingdom)

Clarinet Quartet


St Mary Magdalene Church (Leintwardine, Herefordshire, United Kingdom)

Catriona Scott/Thomas Gould/Sarah-Jane Bradley/Marie Macleod

Clarinet Quartet

No Venue (Wallingford, Oxfordshire, United Kingdom)

Sound Collective