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In this composition 'Ricercare' has two meanings: on the one hand it means the composer 'searching' within a twelve tone field because this was my first work being structured in a dodecaphonic system. On the other hand it also means a traditional 'ricercare', in which the composer uses one theme that shows up in the composition in a fugal manner.
The piece was only completed in 2003, as a result of my final exam at the Conservatory of Amsterdam, after a few years of 'dodecaphonic crisis', which was only conquered by writing my Sonata for violin and piano (2003), the second and (for the time being) last dodecaphonic composition of my hand. This Ricercare was written without having a performance in mind. It only served one purpose: to find satisfaction for my bizarre need to search for organic sounding music, which however complies with the strict rules of dodecaphony. Next to this quest I developed for the first time an urge (which would later on become an obsession) to apply formal techniques based on symmetries and the golden section.
On top of that, the Ricercare is put in the shade by the excessive usage of quintolas, a rhythmic figure although being used obsessively in this composition, allows the performers a lot of freedom for interpretation. Although resulting in many deletions and re-writings, this means that the Ricercare in spite of its complexity has become an organic composition with a noticeable introvert character. Just like my Sonate for violin and piano (2003) the Ricercare wants to pay homage to the master of fugue Johann Sebastian Bach, whose name just like in his own works (B-A-C-H according to the German notation system can be written in notes) shows up as a theme in the climax of the composition, played by the clarinet. This seems to be a detail, yet it illustrates the urge I experienced to extend my music with abstract and almost inaudible elements, besides its naturally sounding result.
Arno Stoffelsma, clarinet - Alexander Scholtes, piano
- Clarinet in Bb
Transcriptie Ricercare voor klarinet, baritonsaxofoon en piano