K takes the first two bars of the Clarinet Quintet in A major, Kv. 581, by W. A. Mozart (1756 – 1791) and pulls them apart, exposing, reworking, fragmenting, reflecting and elaborating their harmony and gesture. The resulting short piece is almost catatonically restful, instructed ‘tranquilizing’ at the top of the score. The original two bars of Mozart’s are only heard at the very end, almost in echo.
Ideally this piece should be performed immediately before Mozart’s Clarinet Quintet K581 with a short breath between them but without allowing applause. However, this work stands well on its own as a clarinet quintet.
K was written for the Sounds New Mozart NOW Festival in Canterbury in 2006, the 250th Anniversary of Mozart’s birth. It was first performed on 4th December 2006 in St Peter’s Church, Canterbury by David Campbell, Kathy Shave, Lizzie Umpleby, Rachel Dyker and Julia Vohralik.