Peter Fribbins
Programme Notes
Concertino for Seven
Concertino for Seven is scored for flute (doubling piccolo), clarinet (doubling bass clarinet), alto saxophone, violin, viola, ‘cello and piano and consists of an original theme and ten variations. The theme is very simple, consisting only of four two-note pairs in thirds.

The piano opens with the theme already somewhat disguised and distorted through fantastical, magical figuration, interspersed with a version for much stiller woodwind. Like Rachmaninov’s famous Paganini Variations, the theme is not obvious at the outset, and in variation one (allegro), begins to coalesce note by note against a driving single-note ostinato.
Only in variation two is the theme eventually explicit, heard forte in the violin and woodwind, somewhat sinister in context perhaps, undercut as it is with the driving semi-quavers of variation one (a speeded-up diminution and development of the same theme).

Concertino for Seven is the first ‘theme and variation’ form I have composed – I have struggled before with the form’s potential (in inept hands) for structural dislocation. Here I have attempted to make the music sound integrated and ‘through composed’ so hopefully the listener is not aware of its eleven sections, but of a fluent continuity and one whole unified dramatic structure.

'…an extraordinary talent as a composer. He is that genuine ‘natural’ - the rara avis who speaks fluently in his music'– Wilfred Josephs
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