Lento – Allegro – Adagio – Allegro
Clarinet quartet Concertino was commissioned by the Barcelona Clarinet Players during the winter of 2018. The request was clear and precise: A work for solo clarinet quartet and orchestra that could also be performed with symphonic band, and that was bright, attractive, virtuoso and striking, lasting between 12 and 15 minutes.
The result is this Concertino in a single movement, in four parts without interruption, where the themes are interchanged.
The work begins with a slow tempo where the soloists present the main theme of sweet and contemplative nature, followed by the orchestra beneath the soloists’ new counterpoints. A fast, more virtuoso tempo follows where the orchestra introduces a new theme which the soloists develop. The corno di bassetto presents a new, very lyrical and expressive line as contrast in texture (a part B) that gradually builds towards a climax with a combination of rhythm and tension. After a process of unwinding, the central Adagio is reached. A new expressive and majestic theme is presented by the soloists which is then expanded by the orchestra. Without interruption, the music returns to the quick tempo, initially as a small development of several themes previously presented along with some new virtuoso turns by the soloists, which link without pause to a reexposition of the whole preceding fast movement, here entirely modified. Themes from both slow movements are also mixed in this section.
A brief Coda ends the Concertino with brilliance.
Originally the work was written for soloists and piano. Later it was instrumentated first for orchestra and later for symphonic band.
The corno di bassetto part can be replaced by a second clarinet in Bb.