Download set (Score & Parts)
I. 2:30 II. 3:10 III. 3:10
4 Bb Clarinets
Eb Alto Clarinet
Bb Bass Clarinet
Eb Contra-alto Clarinet
Commissioned by the Hobereaux Clarinet Ensemble, this piece was composed in 2008 and premiered at the ensemble's concert "Summer Vacation in Obreaux" in August of the same year. It was again featured at the Clarinet Ensemble Recital Vol. 21 in April 2010, and I took this opportunity to slightly revise the piece.
At the time of the first performance, I was too busy to attend any rehearsals or performances, and I left the piece as submitted. However, when I heard the concert recording I was honestly surprised. The more I listened, the more I realized that the remaining problems were not the fault of the performers but the fault of the writer. The revisions resulted in a slight increase in the number of measures throughout the piece.
Numerous composers have attempted to create music based on the motif of Johann Sebastian Bach's surname spelled "B-A-C-H," which is the German syllabic spelling of his name. Because of its close chromatic progression, this material has been favored by modern and contemporary composers who have said goodbye to tonality. I first adapted this theme for solo guitar and wrote it as "Three Sonnets in Bach's Name" for a close guitarist friend of mine in 1983. The "Three Bagatelles" for clarinet ensemble is based on this guitar piece of 27 years ago, with minor changes here and there, of course, but the thematic structure and outline of the development remain intact.
As I recall, my debut ensemble piece, first published and recorded in my late twenties, was also a clarinet ensemble. There was a time when I was mass-producing compositions and arrangements in this field through my friendships with performers, but it has been a long time since I wrote an original piece for an octet. You have inspired me with your wonderful performance.
I would like to take this opportunity to express my gratitude to the members of the Hobereaux Clarinet Ensemble and to Kiichi Saito, the first member of Obreaux, who encouraged me to write this piece.