"Finzi is an excellent composer, and his five bagatelles is an excellent suite for any clarinettist and pianist alike - it is almost like a concerto, and the different pieces represent different movements. The first piece, the Prelude, has an exciting edge to it, the way the piano starts playing in a lively way to start off the suite, and then the clarinet enters, and at the end it finishes with a fantastic trill and hits a "D" up of middle "C", it sounds fantastic. The second piece Romance, is indeed romantic, it is slow and melancholic, and in some ways emotional - i could just drift off to sleep when i play it! The third piece, Carol is a lovely piece for the clarinettist of grade 3 standard [ABRSM], the piano introduction is very welcoming and has the "listen" factor, this piece also sounds more complicated than it actually is! The fourth piece Forlana is a very peaceful serene piece, lke the second piece Romance, it is very romantic and very peaceful. The last piece, Fughetta, well what can i say!! it has all of the qualities of every other piece in the suite, whilst being moderately challenging [and being on the grade 8 syllabus ABRSM!] it is also a piece which you cannot forget, in terms of playing but in remembering the piece in one's own mind, it has such a "buzz" to it, it is one of the pieces for me - when someone will ask me to play a piece the clarinet fughetta will be one of the choices on offer!
i recommend Finzi's 5 Bagatelles to anyone who plays the clarinet, it is the perfect suite to end off a concert recital / performance, and just a delight to play for one's own plaesure! "