Concerto for Clarinet and Orchestra 3. Möbius Strip

Derek Bourgeois Opus 51
Year of composition
Difficult (Grades 7+)
8 minutes
Modern classical music
Orchestra + solo (Clarinet in Bb)
Instrumental parts
Not available

This is probably the most complex movement I have ever written. It started when I wrote the national anthem on a strip of transparent paper, and rotated the ends to form a continuous Möbius strip then played it back in the treble clef. I was fascinated by the result and determined to write a movement in the same fashion. I wrote it on three staves, with the clarinet on a single stave and the accompaniment on two staves and turned them into two independent Möbius strips. But the fascinating thing is that the clarinet part rotates around the note B at the centre of the treble clef, whereas the accompaniment on two staves rotates about middle C. Therefore when the strip joins, the relationship between the solo part and the accompaniment changes radically.

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