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Oberon's fancy : capriccio for classical clarinet in Bb or clarinet in Bb

by Nicholas Routley (1997)

Work Overview

Oberon's fancy: Capriccio on various themes

This piece involves three Neapolitan folk-songs, along with a theme from Schubert's Octet and certain clich├ęs from the early nineteenth century (though no references to Weber's Oberon) in a series of recollections, sometimes jocular, sometimes wistful. It was composed in December 1997, and revised in 2004.

The instruction 'reed above' is derived from a practice which was widespread in the early nineteenth century, and still survives in some parts of southern Italy. The player rotates the reed through 180 degrees until the upper lip touches the reed. The sound achieved is brasher, less refined, less subtle that with the reed in the normal position (indicated by the instruction 'reed below').

The fingerings for the mulitphonics are suggestions; every clarinet is different, and each player will find solutions that work. The soft ones are intended to be as well balanced and beautiful as possible; for the loud ones the pitch is much less important, they are just supposed to be a horrible noise.

NR, November 2004

Work Details

Year: 1997

Instrumentation: Clarinet in B flat or classical (13-keyed) clarinet in B flat.

Duration: 7 min.

Difficulty: Advanced

Dedication note: Dedicated to Ingrid Pearson. Dedicated to Ingrid Pearson

Commission note: Commissioned by Ingrid Pearson.

First performance: by Ingrid Pearson — 1999. Sheffield, UK


Performances of this work

1999: Sheffield, UK. Featuring Ingrid Pearson.

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