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Op. 26c - three scherzi

for Clarinet


I. Allegro Animato
II. Adagio Espressivo
III. Freely - Vivo Scherzando

Program Notes: My Three Scherzi for Solo Oboe, Op. 26 are written for and dedicated to Los Angeles oboist Rong-Huey Liu and arranged for Solo Alto Saxophone for Michael Mortarotti and Clarinet for Andrew Leonard. These short yet demanding pieces require a keen sense of control and masterful musicianship for this fastidious instrument. The first movement, marked Allegro Animato, opens with a playful theme in F Major before it takes a few chromatic twists and turns and descends to a point of stability. It quickly builds back up for a dramatic return of the theme followed by a swift transition into a sprightly middle section. After a chromatic ascent and decent build upon the early thematic rhythms, a definitive return to the opening material is heard and a quirky conclusion is ushered in. The second movement, Adagio Expressivo, is a sensual outpouring of longing. The melancholic theme, with hints of hope, endlessly grows and develops at both its highest and lowest points. A smooth transition back into the introductory material heralds an evolved variation of the theme and concludes with a whimsical F-Sharp Major scalar passage before reaching home. The third movement, Freely;Vivo Scherzando, is a perpetuum mobile of sorts. It opens with a plaintive theme that is quickly transformed into the aggressive and rhythmically unstable scherzando. The regularly shifting time signature and recurring accented interval of a minor third become the driving force of this short etude-like scherzo. After reaching a peak of frenzy, the music winds down and returns to a slightly varied form of the free, opening theme. Just when one feels at rest, a heightened sense of instability and virtuosity are demanded before reaching the final, calming folk-like calls before a sudden final vivo appears to bring the cycle to a dramatic close.

Performance History:

-August 23rd, 2014; No. 1; Solo Recital; Steinway Gallery; Pasadena, California - 4PM

-February 8th, 2017; Music at MiMoDa – Paper or Plastik Cafe; West Los Angeles, California – 8PM

-April 13th, 2019; Solus – An Unaccompanied Clarinet Recital; Crescent Front Rogue United Church; Winnipeg, Manitoba; Canada – 7PM


George N. Gianopoulos


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