Duo Impressioniste for Flute and Clarinet [Playing score]
- Interesting, worth a look
Pan - Journal of the British Flute Society
This charming miniature for flute and clarinet was commissioned by the regional conservatoire of Caen as part of the Aspects of the Music of Today festival in March 2018. The premiere was given by conservatoire students, and the publisher rates it at moderate difficulty.
Escaich makes the most of the piece’s one-minute duration. The two instruments enter immediately into a semiquaver dialogue, each entry overlapping to provide fluctuations in tone colour, which also combines with phased dynamics to create an ever-changing surface texture. The impressionism of the title is immediately apparent. The appearance of a changing-meter melody provides an expressive interlude, before a brief reap-pearance of the opening dovetailing prepares the listener for a mirrored phrase at the end of the piece.
This is an enjoyable work and something of a gem; its dura-tion means it could be easily programmed, especially in student concerts where time is often at a premium. The changing time signatures combine with a continuous semiquaver line to provide a useful educational angle and help intermediate students develop more advanced rhythmic precision. The harmonic language is relatively simple and aligned to the impressionist aesthetic that the title suggests.
Performance duration (approx): 1'
Difficulty level, roughly compared to ABRSM exam grades. 0 is beginner, 9 is advanced (beyond grade 8).