The first movement After Dark has been a Trinity College London Grade 7 Exam Piece since November 2022
Three Dances After Midnight? is a work that displays much of the clarinet’s unique character. The first movement is positive with fast lyrical lines, punctuated with accented chromatic figures. The second movement has a long unfolding melody in a slow waltz style, melancholic and reflective in mood. The third movement is playful and quirky with an American influence, and concludes with a klezmer style passage leading to the final rhythmic ending. This work provides the opportunity for the performer to display a rounded technique where fast passagework, characterful articulation and soft lyricism create an ever changing interplay. The gripping opening of After Dark, the gentle melancholy of Before Dawn and the energetic style and bravura climax to Anytime You Like make this an ideal addition to the concert repertoire as well as examination and audition requirements, while the piano is also very much an equal partner throughout the piece.
Three Dances After Midnight? has been recorded on the album Under The Influence with Max Welford on clarinet and Marcus Andrews on piano.
Review: “This piece is a fantastic tour-de-force of the clarinet’s best qualities. The outer movements are very vibrant with plenty of room for lively articulation, fast fingers and dynamic contrast, and the middle movement is wonderfully lyrical, giving the player the opportunity to produce some beautiful sustained phrases. Most importantly, the piece has the extremely rare quality of successfully combining a number of styles and influences whilst remaining entirely convincing and unique in itself.” – Max Welford, clarinettist with the Marylebone Wind Quintet, December 2013
Review: “Three Dances After Midnight? is a joyous suite of pieces. The writing is virtuoso in the outer movements, while the second movement, Before Dawn, has a beautiful simplicity. Influences as diverse as Debussy, Prokofiev and Klezmer mingle into a whole that is appropriately elusive, suggestive and above all, tremendous fun.” – Marcus Andrews, Pianist, January 2014
Review: “These attractive miniatures for clarinet and piano would appeal to performers who wish to introduce a note of playful vigour into a programme as well as subtle homage to English precursors such as Gerald Finzi. The outer movements present rhythmic challenges to the duo – a well-rehearsed partnership will enjoy ‘cutting a dash’ – while the clarinet’s cantilena in the meditative central movement provides repose. A beautifully crafted addition to the instrument’s repertoire.” – Philip Scott, Conductor of the National Youth Wind Ensemble of Great Britain, January 2014