Sextet for Clarinet, Bass Clarinet and String Quartet

Clarinet, Bass Clarinet and String Quartet
 Dussnang, Switzerland

The Sextett für Klarinette, Bassklarinette und Streichquartett makes connections between two historical works Das Musikalische Opfer by Bach and Konzert Op. 24 by Webern. The tone row from Webern’s Konzert is used throughout and fragments of both works are heard several times.

The work is in 16 sections (4x4 Abelian form) and the sections on the leading diagonal (1, 6, 11, 16) are based on single notes (decorated and “wobbled” with glissando effects). It was well suited in difficulty to the two clarinettists (Jürg Fehr and Heinz Höppli who commissioned the piece) but the rather old (about my age!) members of the string quartet were not up to playing some of the rhythmic passages with compound time signatures, and so the premiere performance was not as good as I had hoped from “professional” players.

See also Sextet for Flute, Bass Clarinet (Bb), Violin, Cello, Piano and Percussion