For Clarinet and Piano
Scott Anderson, Clarinet; Eric Schank, Piano
Unsent Valentines is a “Letter Never Sent”. Begun as a Valentine’s present, the recipient was long gone by the time it was completed. It is in three basic sections and walks a delicate balance between melancholy, longing, anger, bliss, regret and joy – always with the consciousness of time hovering in the not too distant background.
Unsent Valentines exists in a world of “near misses”, where true contact always seems just a step away, but materializes only fleetingly. The sense of time and rhythm between the two instruments is often divergent. In the first movement, the piano has a steady, almost clock-like sense of rhythmic inevitability, while the clarinet floats timelessly in another world. The second movement is a waltz in which the two are partners in a dance, swept along by the same music but rarely touching. The third movement also has the feeling of a dance – an exuberant, headlong rush that leaves all else behind. One brief backward glance, and then onward…
Unsent Valentines is dedicated to Maureen Hurd and Elinor Freer.