Composer: Christopher LaRosa

Title: Sextet

Category: Chamber Ensemble



Clarinet (B♭ and Bass)






Percussion Requirements:

2 suspended cymbals (one mounted, one not mounted for use on timpano)


crotales (E♭ and A)


Difficulty: Advanced

Publisher: Available from Composers website.



Duration: approximately 10 minutes


Program Notes from the composer:


Sextet’s first movement examines the contradiction between the definition and constituent parts of the word “disquiet.”  The prefix “dis-” negates its consequent, therefore the literal meaning of “disquiet” is “not quiet.”  However, the quietest moments often induce unease (or disquiet).  The piece begins with wispy sounds and fricatives depicting the hushed external surroundings– perhaps an abandoned street in the middle of the night.  Rustlings and unexpected sounds startle the psyche, and an inner dialogue begins with a plaintive flute solo.  An increasingly frenzied bass clarinet solo provokes its textural environment, inducing psychological agitation.  The paranoia builds through the movement’s ultimate crescendo and creates anticipation for a capping event.  Instead, all sound momentarily vanishes and then returns to the wispy sounds and fricatives from the beginning.  A chorale in the winds and strings provide temporary closure while maintaining the crescendo-induced anxiety.  The wisps dissipate to nothing.


The moto perpetuo “Grit” springs out of the first movement’s emptiness with immediate aggression and verve, the delayed consequent of the previous movement’s crescendo.  The opening section, three phrases of pyramid chords organized according to the golden section returns in the movement’s middle and end, creating three pillars which support the entire movement.  The intervening sections alternate internally with tape-splice chase scenes and passages of static dynamism.  The instrumentalists wrestle through the tumultuous coda and crash in a shrieking halt.


Annotated by Dan Pessalano