This piece is the final of Finzi’s ‘5 Bagatelles’ written for clarinet and piano. I listened to it after writing my piece for Assignment 4, but have included it in the research notes for this section since it is relevant to the subject of counterpoint.
It’s a very upbeat, fun piece in 4/4 time and a major key. I think the style really suits the clarinet, it makes good use of the instrument’s wide range and I like the contrasts between the legato passages and staccato off-beat rhythms. After a short introduction, the clarinet introduces the main fughetta three bar theme which has a distinctive syncopated rhythm. The theme is then played immediately by the piano, this time starting on the dominant, while the clarinet plays a quiet chromatic passage in accompaniment. The clarinet and piano take turns at the theme (or parts of it) throughout the piece; sometimes we hear it in the left hand of the piano as well as the right and towards the end we hear it stated one last time in octaves. The ending itself is a cheeky conversation between the clarinet and piano with the piano having the last word.