Title Andrew March: Equipoise (2005)
Instrumentation Bass Clarinet & Piano
Range Extended-range instrument required.
Price $25
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About the Work

Equipoise was written as a test piece, intended to present a challenge to the virtuosity and expressive capability of the finer players of the bass clarinet - and to tax the instrument. The work was acknowledged with an Honourable Mention in the Composition Competition of the 1st World Bass Clarinet Convention held in Rotterdam in October 2005.

As a form, the piece poises a rapid percussive episode between two outer sections of expressive line that are sounded over sostenuto support chords in the piano: counterbalancing the central section and the two outer parts. Tremolos and trills are a feature of the piece, as are alternative fingerings. Bariolage-style spiking technique emphasizes cross-tessitura pitches accentuated from within the rapid alternation of notes, often further complicated by an intervallic microtonal offset.

The relationship between the bass clarinet and the piano is intended to be kept in equipoise through the avoidance of inequality of importance between the roles of the two instruments. The piano is thus intended not merely as an accompanimental figure but a fully developed component (no apologies for the rhythmic complexity of the writing). It follows that the piano has its own territory. However, towards the end, the piano is allowed to trespass upon the distinctive line of the bass clarinet; quoting a short solo passage that surrenders to the weight of the state of expectation for equal likelihood.

About the Composer

British composer Andrew March was born in 1973. In 1992, he attended the Royal College of Music, London, to study composition. Shortly after graduating, Andrew won the Royal Philarmonic Society Composition Prize 1996 for his symphonic poem, Easdale. His orchestral piece Marine - à travers les arbres (1997) won first place in the inaugural Masterprize International Composing Competition, and was recorded by the BBC for the European Broadcasting Union and by the London Symphony Orchestra in Abbey Road Studios for EMI Classics Debut Series. A cover-mount CD was included on the BBC Music Magazine in 1998. Marine - à travers les arbres has been played by orchestras such as the BBC Philharmonic and has received a total of 13 international live performances including the Moscow Radio Symphony Orchestra and the European Union Youth Orchestra under Vladimir Ashkenazy which was televised for the BBC Proms in 1998.

In 2001, Nymphéas for Two Pianos was written for pianist brothers duo Peter & Patrik Jablonski, who gave the World premiere in the Royal Palace, Stockholm, in the Autumn of 2002, and then followed with a tour that programmed the piece in and around Scandinavia. In July 2005, A Stirring in the Heavenlies (2000) was successfully recorded, in full, by the Kiev Philharmonic under composer/conductor Robert Ian Winstin for the landmark 12-CD series Masterworks of the New Era.

In 2009, Andrew composed an elegy for strings, Sanguis Venenatus which was recorded in the Czech Republic and released towards the end of 2012. The elegy has subsequently been broadcast on BBC Radio 3 and internationally, with repeat airings during drive-time programmes on stations such as Sweden's P2 Klassiskt, Estonia's Klassikaraadio, and South Africa's Classic FM.

In October 2013, Three Pieces for Solo Cello were premiered in New York by Romanian-born cellist Ovidiu Marinscu at the Weill Recital Hall, Carnegie Hall. The three pieces were also recorded. Also in 2013, Paraclete Press published De Profundis. In 2015, Colla Voce Music published two pieces, Marian Antiphon No. 3 and How Long, O Lord?. In January 2016, Amoration for Piano and Strings was recorded at the MRTV studios in Skopje with the Macedonian Radio Symphonic Orchestra.

Catalog Info #ALEA1143
Duo Score: 17 pages, spiral bind; two copies provided, one for each performer
Part: 16 pages, loose leaf