Grave per se(i) (2021)
flute, clarinet, piano, string trio

Robert Morris

Program Notes

In the winter of 2021, during the covid pandemic, I thought I'd write a short, up-beat composition for what is now called the "Pierrot ensemble", a combination of flute, clarinet, piano, and string trio ; the result was Giocoso, Per Se(i). The flute starts a lively musical conversation with the other instruments, all of which have their say at some point in the piece. The musical materials are diverse but related, grouped into eleven-note configurations so that one note of the chromatic scale is missing at any point of the piece.

Grave Per Se(i) was written in the summer of 2021 when I thought about extending Giocoso Per Se(i) to fit better on this program. A similar conversational mode pervades this piece, but at a slower, more relaxed pace, often connoting introspection. The eleven-note idea is dropped, replaced by the more normative 12-note syntax.