University of Pasadena, Pasadena, California
Alfred Rice, clarinet / Alfred Rice with the Almont Trio
Written in response to a request from the clarinettist Gervase de Peyer, the Clarinet Quartet was the work with which Goldschmidt resumed composition after a gap of some twenty-five years. Like all of Goldschmidt’s late chamber works, the quartet is in one continuous movement, but divided into clearly defined sections: a slow introduction, in which a peaceful rising figure on the clarinet is then imitated by the strings, leads to a bristling, contrapuntal allegro. This is followed by a slow middle section which is thematically almost entirely based on Goldschmidt’s early Passacaglia for orchestra (a work which, at the time, he believed to be lost), here nostalgically recalled. The Rondo finale includes references to his 1969 score for the BBC Radio adaptation of Kafka’s Investigations of a Dog, significantly the only occasion on which Goldschmidt broke his compositional silence. The clarinet and the strings are treated as equals in this 15-minute work, which offers display opportunities for all four players.