Roger Steptoe, Clarinet Quintet No. 2 for clarinet and string quartet

STEPTOE Roger, Clarinet Quintet No. 2

clarinet and string quartet

Instrumentation detail: clarinet, 2 violins, viola, cello
Composer: Steptoe, Roger (*1953)
Year of composition: 2012
Duration: 15'
Level: advanced
Genre: contemporary
Format: Score and parts
Publisher Editions Bim
Ref. # CL35

Availability: In stock



The quintet is based in the same structure as Debussy's Cello Sonata which I played with the American cellist and Attacca Quartet member, Andrew Yee, in New York in 2010. The first movement of my own work starts with a brief introduction before dissolving into four passages of intense lyricism featuring all five instruments. A sequence of three major chords (C-flat, B-flat and G) conclude the movement which ends as it starts.

The middle movement is a quiet, fleeting scherzo, again highly lyrical and with sensual harmonies. It concludes with a brief quotation from Debussy's Première Rapsodie.  Like the Sonata of Debussy it leads almost unnoticed into the third and final movement, a highly-charged and rhythmically dynamic finale. Here the theme from the first movement is presented as a jazz-like pizzicato accompaniment figure. The three 'key' chords from the first movement are heard again before a brief glimpse of the work's introduction ends the work on an upbeat note. The movement is quirky and amusing.

Roger Steptoe, Septembre 2012, Uzerche, France



The work received its first performance by David Campbell and the Sacconi Quartet on Sunday 22 July in the Great Hall, University of Aberystwyth, Wales, as part of the 2012 Aberystwyth MusicFest.

The French premiere was by David Campbell and the Quatuor Girard as part of the 2012 Festival de Musique Classique d'Uzerche, Corrèze, on 17 August 2012. The concert was supported by the Fondation d'Entreprise Banque Populaire, Paris. 

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