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Five Bagatelles

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Gerald Finzi

Gerald Finzi (arr. Joseph Kreines)

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This work bears the designation Opus 23.

General Info

Year: 1943 /
Duration: c. 13:55
Difficulty: VI (solo); V (ensemble) (see Ratings for explanation)
Original Medium: Clarinet and piano
Publisher: Unpublished
Cost: Score and Parts - Unknown


1. Prelude – 3:05
2. Romance - 4:10
3. Carol – 1:55
4. Forlana - 2:55
5. Fughetta – 2:05


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None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

Finzi wrote his Five Bagatelles for clarinet and piano for the clarinettist Pauline Juler, for whom he had originally intended the Clarinet Concerto. The bagatelles, completed as a set in 1943, were subsequently arranged for clarinet and strings by Lawrence Ashmore. The highly characteristic Prelude has an exuberant opening and gently contrasting middle section, ending in a slightly menacing climax, after which the first material returns. The tenderly lyrical Romance is followed by the simplicity of Carol that seems to have had its origin in a tune written for the children of Herbert Howells some years before. The Forlana has a gentle lilt to it, not strictly in the pace or mood of the original dance. It seems Finzi himself hesitated over the title of the piece, which seemed mid-way between a Forlana and a Berceuse. The work ends with a Fughetta, its subject first entrusted to the clarinet. While not a masterpiece of counterpoint, it provides a delightful ending to an agreeable set of short pieces.

This distinctive suite of short movements is now a cornerstone of the clarinet repertoire for players of all ages.

- Program Note by Keith Anderson, for liner notes for Naxos CD Gerald Finzi, and Andrew Burn, for Boosey & Hawkes

Joseph Kreines arranged Five Bagatelles for tuba and wind ensemble.

A bagatelle may be something of little value or importance, a trifle; or a short and light musical composition, typically for the piano.

- Program Note from


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


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Works for Winds by this Composer