Ars Moriendi investigates the wide range of the bass clarinet through a four-part chorale texture with microtonal inflections and elaborations. From the tentative material at the beginning flowers more assertive proclamations in the dying moments of the piece.
Chaos of Delight IV continues my series of works inspired by NZ birdsong (Chaos of Delight I for bass clarinet, Chaos of Delight II for soprano, Chaos of Delight III for women’s voices) and in this case is a short, theatrical duo written especially for the talents of my colleagues Luca Manghi and Ben Hoadley. Some more recognizable birdcalls are: the thrush calls played by piccolo; the Paradise Duck in the bassoon; the Kokako played by both in unison and the Little Blue Penguin in the fluttertongued basson.
The work was premiered by the duo on October 22nd, 2008 in Auckland.
These canons date from my student days at Cambridge University (England) and were first performed by fellow students there. One of these was Stanley Sadie, now editor of the New Grove Dictionary of Music. I have always enjoyed writing canonic textures.