Op. 35 – Three Rags

Clarinet Quartet (3 clarinets, bass clarinet)

  1. Old Peculiar (2001)
  2. CSMA Rag (2002)
  3. Long Ago Rag (2002)

In an effort to find entertaining material for the clarinet ensemble I direct at the Community School of Music and Arts in Ithaca, I decided to write a series of ragtime pieces. Old Peculiar and Long Ago Rag follow the example of the classic Scott Joplin rag, with only the occasional slight harmonic peculiarity. The CSMA Rag, named after the Community School of Music and Arts, is more self-consciously sophisticated. The letters CSMA are translated directly into notes, S standing for Es, the German for E flat, and M standing for Mi, the French for E natural. Thus, C-E flat-E-A is the principal motive of the piece.