Sean William Calhoun | Composer and pianist

Clarinet Quartet, for three Bb clarinets and one bass clarinet (2012) – 17'

I. Customary Sonata Form Movement
II. No, you may not have a fugue
III. Passacaglia — it keeps happening
IV. So many notes...
The Clarinet Quartet begins with a “Customary Sonata Form Movement,” featuring an introduction (slow), a first theme (quick), and a second theme (jovial), a closing motive (staccato), a development (with fugato), a recapitulation (with more staccato), and a coda (slow). The second movement, “No you may not have a fugue,” repeatedly attempts to assemble a fugal exposition, but is repeatedly thwarted, including once by an unrelated fugue’s subject. “Passacaglia — it keeps happening” is titled in reference to the nature of a passacaglia, the worst webcomic, as well as, slight less directly, the best webcomic. The last movement is titled “So many notes...” for reasons that should be obvious quickly.

(Partial) Recording and score

Recording by Brian Cooper, Kevin Barrow, Collin Lewis, clarinets; Ashley Eady, bass clarinet