Davies's feeling for the potency and bravura of the clarinet goes back to works of the 1960s; his concerto for the instrument is predictably a big, ranging piece, in two linked movements. The first, fast with a brief slow introduction, has the soloist in propulsive melodic flights slipping over into florid runs, but it is a virtuoso piece for the orchestra, especially for the marimba and pair of horns. The Adagio that follows is in the spare, cold, birdcall-riven style of other recent Davies slow movements, exploiting first the clarinet's low register and then, at its climax, the instrument's high extremes. A cadenza leads to the coda, where Davies introduces a Scots tune, previously hinted at, with which he brings the work to an end in F sharp major. Miniature score.
For a piece of modern music, it is quite brilliant with beautiful melodic lines. The way that the music has been adapted to suite the first performer (a Mozartean style) of whom this piece is dedicated too is remarkable (LM). The final movement for me is chilling with a Scottish type melody by the clarinet with sustained and mysterious chords and harmonies. This is the piece by Peter Maxwell Davis that you should buy for clarinet.
A pupil - (Edinburgh, United Kingdom)