Op. 10 – City Suite

Clarinet and Piano

  1. It's Alright
  2. Rap Around
  3. Over Before It's Begun

Written concurrently with the Chamber Symphony, City Suite shares some thematic material with it, as well as a close association with popular song forms. As with the symphony, the movements are named according to the lyrics they might have had, were they actual pop songs with lyrics. Also as with the symphony, the music switches often back and forth between flamboyantly popular and more conventional contemporary music idoms, always with a common thematic basis. In fact the thematic interpenetration between all three movements is extremely dense. Ideas initially presented in the first movement continue to develop for the duration of the work, so that, as originally written, there were no breaks between movements at all. In the 1996 revision I decided it would be wiser to allow the performers, not to mention the audience, some breathing space.

City Suite makes great technical demands on both the clarinetist and pianist. It is exhausting but rewarding to play.

It should be noted that the second movement, Rap Around, is probably the first piece of hip-hop classical music ever written.