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TOM OWEN
2 Allemande
3 Courante
I've had these transcriptions for a while now and this seems a good opportunity to finally give them an outing. The bass clarinet's range is extremely close to that of the cello, but the mellow sound and the means of sound production lends these famous works a completely different character.
This arrangement, in combination with Bust (as in 'Bust of Bach', a working title that stuck), is a response to a task a former pupil was given on arrival at the RNCM: to transcribe something from Bach's Art of Fugue and then add another movement. I turned to the 48 Preludes and Fugues instead and ended up with this lop-sided triptych. ! Hopefully the Bach arrangement speaks for itself. The Prelude and Fugue was chosen for the rich chordal textures in the Prelude and the steadily unfolding, closely overlapping counterpoint in the Fugue. This ensemble makes the five voices of the fugue more distinct, but still makes for a satisfying blend when the texture becomes dense.
Bust combines certain elements of the Bach in to longer, huger gestures. I began by thinking of the glow left by the Prelude and Fugue, and then introduced more specific but jumbled, misremembered fragments, with the piece eventually creating an explosive momentum of its own.
List of works
Bust
Hut Ritual
Exhibition Suite
Triple Concerto
Fastener (Bra 3) (Plunge)
Prowl Routine
Sweet Suffolk Owl
Package 1a
Womb
What a Clarinet Sounds Like
Embankment Beach
© 2015 Tom James, Tom Owen, Jenny Jackson & Chris Noble.
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Bust