The Three Alcids (2016)

Bb Clarinet and Piano
Recording Coming Soon

Duration: 7 minutes | Composed: 2016 (Guy Yehuda, Rhapsodies Around the World project) | World Premiere: Michigan State University, Cook Recital Hall Sept. 23 2016 | Recording: Coming Soon.

Part of the brief of this commission was for the work to be influenced in some way (at the composer’s discretion) by Debussy’s Première Rhapsodie. This is a challenge I readily accepted. I was excited for this new experiment, being an avid student of Debussy’s works, and it very easily became my aim to reference certain aspects of the Rhapsodie. These include the ‘test-like’ versatility of the clarinet technique and playing, a few quotations of the four-note nucleus of the first theme, as well as the coexistence of gentle lyricism with an energetic, spirited character in the music.

Another important influence in this piece was water and flooding. 1910 (the year Debussy completed the Rhapsodie) was the year of the Great Paris Flood, and even though floods tend to represent a large amount of water that isn’t wanted, through being landlocked in the mid-west I have for a long time been missing it.

Through this longing for water we can now connect to the title and characters I gravitated towards in this piece. The three alcids on Machias Seal Island were the famous Atlantic puffin, the razorbill, and the common murre. These birds are capable of both flying and swimming quite effectively in their environments. They also carry with them a similar juxtaposition of characters: elegant, smooth flight in both water and air, as well as energetic and sometimes violent bursts when hunting across both planes.

This work was composed while in residence at Copland House, Cortlandt Manor, New York, as a recipient of the Copland House Residency Award.


Full Score - Hardcopy $26 USD / $30 AUD
Parts - Hardcopy $26 USD / $30 AUD
Full Score - PDF $17 USD / $22 AUD
Parts - PDF $17 USD / $22 AUD

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