[M.P.S. LONDON, DDD, CD 005]
Tracks 1-3, Quartet, N.1 op.34, (1995), "Toccata,
Adagio and Fugue"
for three clarinets in B flat and bass clarinet.
1. Toccata (5.19)
2. Adagio (6.20)
3. Fuga (6.31)
Claudio Miotto, Luca Saracca, Guido Arbonelli, Ivan Gambini
"This disc is a sort of recognition of the fascination and potentiality of an
organic entity which, in its multicoloured complexity (from the high-pitched tension of
the piccolo clarinet in E flat, right down to the deep eloquence of the bass clarinet), is
definitely rather unusual.
The variety (and the novelty) of the harmonic solutions, and of the mix of timbres, is
assured by both the high degree of skill of the interpreters, and by the wealth of ideas
of the composers. And, they offer a panorama of musics, sufficiently exhaustive for an
ensemble of this type: from the first piece (Sergio Calligaris' Quartet), which is a sort
of guide to the rigours of couterpoint and the quasi-Brahmsian colours, to the other
works, in which great musicality springs forth from seemingly impenetrable scores."
"When I composed this Quartet, I wanted it to sound like a full orchestra, for its
compact sound. At the same time, I wanted that the four clarinettists sounded like four
soloists. That is the reason why I chose for my composition a severe counterpoint writing,
like in the wide virtuoso Toccata, in the style of a perpetual motion four part invention,
while the final part of the Quartet is a complex four voiced fugue in the legato and
expressive style. The captivating poetic timbre of the clarinet I reserved to be used in
the melancholic central Adagio. The instrumental writing is extremely rigorous all the way
through, so that the quartet of clarinettists which should play my work, could really
demonstrate their complete value as performers in the classical way".
The Namaste Clarinet Quartet began in 1991 to fill the need of proposing and
popularising unusual and rarely heard programmes. Indeed, the most important part of the
ensemble's work aims at the realisation, in collaboration with emerging contemporary
composers, of projects designed to expand further than the small circle of "cultural
concerts". This quartet chose its name after an Indian greeting which means "I
honour in you the place where paradise lies, if you are in me and I am in you, we will be
united", indicating thus the sense of unity - not only understanding and harmony -
that should characterise any chamber orchestra. It is a message of humility, of love, and
of joy. It is enthusiasm for giving special sensations, inherent in our minds, through
music. It is the wish that the listener be with us and in us, and that the humility, the
love, and the joy be intended not only for music, but for all the moments of our lives.
The ensemble's programmes range from classical to contemporary music, with openings in
jazz and popular music, using most of the instruments of the clarinet family and extending
the group with singing, piano, harp, percussion and accordion.
Many composers have written for this quartet, which can boast first performances,
taking part in national and international festivals. It has been successful in many
competitions, with first prizes at the following : "Riviera del Conero International
Prize", Portonovo, 1993; "Citta di Barletta National Prize", Contemporary
Music Section, 1993; "Young Concert Musicians' Selection Prize", Macerata
Feltria,1991; also a second prize at the "A.Ponchielli" contest in Cremona in
1992, and a third prize at the "European Contest" in Moncalieri in 1991.
The members of Namaste have also distinguished themselves in various national and
international contests, in particular Guido Arbonelli, who won first prize at the
Gaudeamus contest in Rotterdam, March 1995. The group is responsible for the Clarinet
Quartet section at the Information Museum in Senigallia, involved with repertoire
research. This museum is about to become a world-wide interest pole for musicians,
composers, and lovers of music.
Further information related to this CD is available in its M.P.S.
Record Company web page.