Thea Musgrave: Towards The Blue (Score)

Books | Clarinet, Wind Ensemble, String Quartet

Publisher: Novello
Composer: Thea Musgrave
Format: Sheet Music | Score
For Clarinet solo, with wind quartet and string quartet. Score Only

First performed by Michael Collins, Clarinet, London Winds and the Endellion String Quartet on 27th January 2011 at the Wigmore Hall, London.


  • Solo Clarinet
  • Flute
  • Oboe
  • Bassoon
  • French Horn
  • 2 Violins
  • Viola
  • Cello


  • circa 13 minutes

"During a visit to the exhibition of Francis Bacon at the Tate Gallery in December 2008my eye fell on Figure in a Landscape, 1945 which resonated in me powerfully. It is a sceneof devastation and despair, and also, it seemed to me, of latent anger and hostility... butabove it all a serene blue sky beckons. So, perhaps even in the darkest moments there is aglimmer of hope - the possibility of change.

This idea became the starting point for this work - Towards the Blue - a mini concerto forclarinet, who eventually becomes the leader of the group.

The work starts without the clarinet and all is desolate, yet fiercely argumentative,discordant and uncomfortable. Suddenly the offstage clarinet is heard and the players insurprise are quietened. However, when the clarinet enters and approaches with a lyricalmusical motif, some of the players respond, others resist. Gradually the clarinetpersuades the dissident voices to join him in a spirit of co-operation and harmony.

A brief memory of the opening desolation casts a momentary shadow which is quicklydispelled by the coda, marked Gioioso.

Thea Musgrave (May 13th 2010)

Parts available for hire separately,
No of pages: 32
Language: English
Catalogue No: NOV121594

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      Thea Musgrave: Towards The Blue (Score)
      Clarinet, Wind Ensemble, String Quartet