Tesserae F - "Domination of Black", Op. 15/VI

solo bass clarinet in B-flat
duration 12'
composed in 1999

dedication: none

published by Novello/Wise Music (see here)

status: on sale


sirst performance: 29 May 2022 (15.00), concertseries Nieuwe Noten Amsterdam, Plein Theater Amsterdam, by Fie Schouten, bass clarinet


recorded by Andrew Sparling on Metier MSV CD92046

Metier cover

programme note:

Tesserae F is one of a number of pieces for mainly solo instruments, each of which explores in very different ways the formal and intervallic properties of an Anglican hymn-tune by Hubert Parry (1848-1918).

Here the expressive intention was to evoke a spectral mood in which, as in a dream, the same images constantly recur in varied combinations.

Its subtitle, 'Domination of Black', is taken from an early poem by Wallace Stevens which re-cycles a number of images - hemlock trees laden with snow, the flames of a winter fireside, the harsh cry of peacocks - with the aim of creating by obssessive variation and repetition a scene in which it is the sound itself which provides the sense and sensation of the poem.

My music has a similar aim.



"a highly imaginative, technically challenging work that once again demonstrates Connolly’s gift for musical imagery", Christopher Thomas, MusicWeb International

"“haunted, strange, strangely beautiful music", Peter Dale, Music and Vision

"Vividly gestural, beautifully coloured and compellingly fluid", Stephen Pettitt, The Sunday Times

"proof of the composer in fine form in the seventh decade" Nicholas Williams, BBC Music Magazine

other comments:

The earlier piece of this title and opus number, commissioned by Harry Sparnaay, is withdrawn.