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Stick Dance III (1992)

Stick Dance III was composed in 1992 for the Zanfonia Trio, for performances as part of the Park Lane Group concerts in London in January 1993. The work is scored for clarinet, violin and piano and revisits and develops the material from the earlier Stick Dances. In each Stick Dance the sinewy clarinet line is the main focus of attention.

Several factors can make Stick Dance III quite elusive to the listener: the alternation of lyricism with sudden rhythmic excitement, the use of quartertones in the clarinet part and a sense of a tempo that is fast and slow at the same time. An analogue for the listener is to consider that the music is played and danced on one hilltop whilst it is seen and heard from another. The effects of wind and cloud can make the music sometimes clear and sharp, sometimes tranquil and distant.

 

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