Night Awake

Concerto for Clarinet and Chamber Orchestra (2010)

Orchestration: 1*111 - 1110 - 2 perc - piano/cembalo - solo clarinet - strings (1-1-1-1-1)
Duration: 22 minutes

Performed by Kristian Möller, clarinet, and KammarensembleN, conducted by Martin Virin.
Live recording from the Concert Hall of the Royal Academy of Music in Stockholm, 26th May 2010.



Score and parts are published by the Swedish Music Information Centre.


I wrote this concerto for a dear friend of mine, the amazing virtuoso clarinettist Kristian Möller.

The piece consists of three movements, played without intermission.

After a cadenza-like opening, the lively main movement starts. It is constructed in an unusual way, the form (but only the form) being very similar to the cumulative structure of nursery rhymes like Allouette, where, in each new verse, a list is repeated, ending with an additional, new object each time. Also, in this case, when repeated, the older objects become more and more twisted as the repetitions continue.

After a short, fast orchestral interlude, the second movement starts, with an infinitely slow and quiet theme from the solo clarinet. In this movement, the orchestra always answers the soloist, usually with a crushing and chaotic response. Not following any proper formal scheme, this movement is like a sequence of memories. The slow movement ends with a particularly sweet section, which breaks apart with the entrance of the third and last movement.

In the finale, the soloist is more integrated into the orchestra. Here, the form used in the first movement makes a comeback with a vengeance: at the same time as it intensifies, everything seems to disintegrate.