Theresa Martin

A passion for music

Autumn Art (2001)
I. (sound clip)
II. (sound clip)
III. (sound clip)
IV. (sound clip)
Duration: 13:20
Instrumentation:
Clarinet Quartet (4 B-flat clarinets and clarinet 4 doubles on bass clarinet for movement one)
Program Notes:
I. The opening melody is the material on which movements II and III are based. After the opening theme is stated, the clarinets divide into two groups of duets and begin a series of short, overlapping phrases. Over time these phrases become longer and more separated. The duets become more dissonant and higher in register. Finally, the movement comes to a close with a statement of the opening melody, hidden within the texture of the harmonies.

II. This movement begins with development of the subject of a quasi-fugue. The "fugue" subject does not occur in its entirety until the middle of the movement, with a clarinet solo. The second clarinet joins in with a contrapuntal line. The fugue then dissolves and continues to develop. This new development foreshadow the swirling gestures of the fourth movement.

III. The opening theme from movement I is now a partitioned line, woven through the four clarinets. The sustained notes create changing harmonies each time a clarinet changes to a different note of the melody. In the middle section, clarinets 2-4 create an accompaniment of slow moving chords changing on every beat while the first clarinet plays a melody above the accompaniment. The movement then returns to the partitioned line now transposed. The first and second clarinets play in octaves, reminiscent of the opening of the first movement.

IV. The majority of this movement uses swirling, tangled, wind-blown gestures. Using the technique of planing, all four clarinets move together in a fast, furious ascending line. A new motive of quintuplets is stated. The fourth clarinet begins a section in which the solo line is passed and slightly overlapped between clarinets. At times this movement breaks down into the thinner duet texture from the first movement. A brief slow section uses the quintuplet motive. The final gesture brings the frenzied swirls to a soft rest.