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Arabesques (in spite of the plural title, the work is in one short movement), also for clarinet and piano, likewise dates from Reizenstein’s prolific last year and might have been a forerunner of the Sonatina. Arabesques forms a striking and imaginative piece in ABA form, A being a truly arabesque-like phrase in 3/4, initially stated by the clarinet, centred upon B flat major. This is much developed and extended, and the central section, Poco più mosso, is a less florid theme in 12/8 which turns in and around itself via F sharp minor and B, from which the clarinet returns to the opening. The reprise is not strict and builds to a finely controlled climax from which the music gradually descends, all passion spent, to an unalloyed B flat major. The clarinet’s high pianissimo B flat is particularly magical and slowly the curtain is drawn on this haunting and fastidiously written short study.
from notes by Howard Ferguson and Robert Matthew-Walker © 1997