for viola (or violin) and cello
Clarke's duo is in two contrasted movements and was originally written as a concert piece for the composer to play with the English cellist May Mukle.
I believe it is as a composer that she will be most treasured - all the pieces that I have heard are gems - imaginative, well constructed, and a pleasure to play. Two Pieces is no exception. The first piece, 'Lullaby', is a gently-rocking dialogue between the two instruments. No great technical demands are made on the players except perhaps in the last four bars where the tuning of both players' double stops could be problematical. The second piece, 'Grotesque', is, as its title suggests, a complete contrast. This is wonderfully effective writing, full of tricks - pizzicato both right and left hand, double harmonics, sul ponticello etc. These two pieces would be equally happy in the hands of professionals, amateurs and musical children (i.e. around Grade 7 standard). They are a real opportunity to let the musical imagination blossom. Roger Smith, Music Teacher, May 2004 'Lullaby' and 'Grotesque', the two pieces, are charming and listeners and performers alike will find them enjoyable ... ['Lullaby'] is a beautiful little piece full of colour, subtlety and gentle twists and turns. 'Grotesque' provides a strong contrast in character. Vigorous and robust in nature, it makes much use of imitation, cross-rhythms and harmonics. Both of these pieces are excellent material for ensemble training but also rewarding in themselves. The viola and cello parts are sensibly printed as a score and there is an additional violin part. Editing is kept to a minimum but is very clear. I would highly recommend this work. Kay Tucker, ESTA News and Views March 04 The presentation of this new edition is good. The notes are clear and the only page turn, in 'Grotesque', is carefully planned to coincide with the only bar of rest in the music. There is a full page of notes on the history of the work with credit to Paul Coletti for his contributions to the preparation of the edition. Lisa Moody, Canadian Viola Society Newsletter, Spring 07