Intermezzo (2014) by Allen Shearer
for clarinet
World premiere

I wrote this brief piece in response to a request from Earplay Ensemble. I was pleased to be asked to take part in the celebration of a landmark year for this worthy institution. The request was for a piece for clarinet solo, maximum three minutes, for Peter Josheff to play. With such clear instructions there was nothing to do but sit down and write it. I have enjoyed a long musical partnership with Peter, and knowing he would play it influenced the way it turned out.

The clarinet is famous for the marked timbral difference between its ranges. It can give the impression of being two instruments and enter into a dialog with itself. For the opening portion of my Intermezzo, a repeated figure in the chalumeau (low) register — two notes alternating a minor third apart — contrasts the more varied material above it. The opposition of these two elements engenders brief development. The beginning returns at that time-honored moment three quarters of the way through the piece.

— A. S.    

[from program for January 19, 2015 concert]