Albert Llanas Rich

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Contexto VI FOR CLARINET: analysis OK


Piece written for clarinet in E flat. It belongs to a cycle of compositions grouped together under the common intention of conceiving singular (one-dimensional) musical contexts using new elements and historical musical memory, so that all the elements used merge into an entity with individual coherence. Contexto VI is the sixth piece of this cycle, a work that addresses instrumental virtuosity. It is a kind of formal research directed towards style and musical gesture above other more primary elements with which the traditional analysis of musical form has dealt with. Unlike other compositions of the cycle there are no elements extracted from historical musical memory.


A – B (b – a’)

There is a basic sonority that is represented by the harmonic aggregate:

Duality and opposition between two sub-aggregates:

Throughout the piece, the two sub-aggregates are presented in different forms: from A to F (presentation in two or three registers with varying degrees of differentiation and contrast) which will be explored throughout the composition with a hybridization procedure with a sense of A to F.

Each of the notes becomes a center of gravity: polar notes. These polar centers define intervals that will be part of the lowest structural level defining a constellation of relationships that will serve as the basis for the elaboration of other structures.

As a curiosity, the material can be similar to the pitch-class 8-11 theory with the omission of the D, although it is not the treatment I chose.

Original Series

Sorted Series

Best Order

Primary form

This conception of multiple centers of gravity presents the following references:

  • relation to the structure of a galaxy:
    a) from the outside the hierarchical relationships between the different polar centers are not evident.
    b) difference in the use of the traditional concept of scale where the notes relate to each other within a particular hierarchy.
  • mobile plastic structures: Calder, Klee, Bauchett,…
  • the polar centers remain in immediate memory.


The concept of gesture understood as a singular sound movement in time is very important. Two categories of opposite symbols or musical gestures are established:

great density
high speed
low density
less speed
ppp to mp


Discursive music. Dynamic time: Memory participation and memory refreshment relationships.

One-dimensional character seen from the outside (as when we look at an image through a telescope), wave scope, two dimensional space. Seen from within there is a multidirectional wealth.

The concept of extended passnote is introduced as a ripieno between two polar notes (structural or memory refreshment points). This involves the extension to two or more coexisting worlds and somehow juxtaposed. (Asimov “chained universes”). A universe in the foreground defines the basic relationships of a musical structure over time (refreshment of memory, Boulez’ “Points de repère.”) It is like the foundations of a building, but these are not static, but rather they move, recreating themselves and changing dynamically: something like a bridge that is building itself from one side and vanishing on the other, stretching and shrinking whimsically. Other universes subordinated to different levels (fractal structure) appear each one with its own structure related to the upper level.


There isn’t any in the conventional sense. It is replaced by an approximate narrowing (in seconds) that gives the performer an idea of the speed in which each of the sequences must be played. The values of the figures have no other meaning than the merely graphic proportionality, that is, a eighth note is not necessarily twice as much of a sixteenth note, if not only longer. By continually changing the density of events in relation to the duration proposed for each sequence, these values indicate different metric situations that produce a continuous tempo change or the cancellation of the metric.

First page of the score:

Listen to the initial fragment of the composition: (performed by: Josep Ramón Sancho)

At the beginning of the second part, there is a very clear change of context. Melodically, a 1/4 tones field is reached. An isorhythm begins, constantly interrupted by a discreetly long note without precise measurement. In addition there are also reminiscences (refreshment relations) of the first part. The isorhythm contains groups of notes (eighth notes) that keep the basic ascending gesture. The number of notes of each of the groups are determined by the intervallic relationship of the aggregates A, B, C, D, E and F.

Ex: A 5 4 11 3 5 B 8 7 11 3 5 C 8 3 4 11 5 …

The number 11 is represented by X and is used to refer to the main gesture of the first part.

The mood of this central part is quieter and the contrast is strong.

The third part returns to the discourse of the first and finishes the piece with an accelerando that leads to the initial motive but with the dynamics reversed. This crescendo element denies all of the formal dialectics of the work and immediately precipitates it towards its end.

End of composition:

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