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page one of Transmutations

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Full details

Transmutations was written in 2012 and is for flute, clarinet, saxophone and piano. The wind instruments each double up on another instrument: the flautist also plays alto flute, the clarinettist also plays bass clarinet and the saxophonist plays both soprano and alto. In one continuous movement, this piece lasts around 8 ½ minutes.

The title suggests change, or transmutating, such as the changes that occur in nature, for example, one chemical element to another, etc. The changes in this piece are purely musical, there being four main sections framed by bridge passages, an introduction and a coda. The introductory five bars state the main melodic idea on the wind instruments, and it is this that is transmutated throughout the four sections. The first main section is a fast dance in an irregular rhythm; the second is a slow elegy; the third is a series of cadenzas for each of the four instruments in turn and the fourth returns to some of the music from the first, but extending the last few bars into a slow coda, resulting in a peaceful conclusion.

Transmutations was written at the request of the clarinettist Guido Arbonelli.

Score ID
Year of composition
Difficult (Grades 7+)
8 minutes
Modern classical music

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Cover art for Transmutations

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