Op. 45 – Paranoia Rag

Clarinet quartet (3 clarinets, bass clarinet)

Like the Kandahar Rag, this rag is a longer and more ambitious composition which takes the conventions of ragtime as a starting point for a through-composed musical structure. The harmonic language frequently bursts out of conventional tonality to the 5-29 based harmonies of my serious compositions. The precarious balance between stability and instability, and between light and serious musical idioms, is very dear to me, and very characteristic of my work.