was requested by and written for Mark Simpson. I have the pleasure of having been Mark’s composition teacher, and was as delighted as anyone when he not only won the BBC Young Musician of the Year as a Clarinettist in 2006, but secured the ‘double’ in the same year by winning the parallel BBC competition for young composers.
The piece is in four short movements, which reflect the traditional layout of a sonata. The first is characterised by clarinet arabesques, which once or twice stray into the piano; the second is a brief scherzo, which begins and ends in with the lowest note of the instrument; the third, a somewhat restless slow movement; and the final movement, marked with abandon, brings things to a brisk conclusion, hinting at moments from the three previous movements along the way.
Short Score is dedicated with thanks to Brabners Chaffe Street and Church House for their generous sponsorship of the annual Cornerstone Festival, which is based at Liverpool Hope University. The first performance of the piece was given by Mark Simpson and John Wilson during the 2006 festival, and it received a second performance by Mark with Ian Buckle during the week of events celebrating the re-opening of the historic concert room in St. George’s Hall in Liverpool in April 2007.