Steamboat Bill Jr.

by Magnus Lindberg

Empty sheet

Magnus Lindberg

Steamboat Bill Jr.

Edition Wilhelm Hansen


This piece for clarinet and cello, whose title comes from a Buster Keaton film, was written for Kari Kriikku and Anssi Karttunen, who had asked several Finnish composers to write duos for them. The first performance took place during a concert by the Toimii ensemble at the Warsaw Autumn festival.

Steamboat Bill Jr. originated in 1990, during the period when Lindberg was working on Joy. Paradoxically, bearing in mind that the duo is composed for two melodic instruments, the work is founded on a harmonic conception. The clarinet and cello create wide, successivve chords by alternating several levels of register. "I imagine the musicians playing this piece must feel like a chess-player making several moves at the same time," writes Lindberg.

Steamboat Bill Jr. is a polystylistic piece, whose characteristics alternate between a scherzo and pure serial music, with effects typical of spectral music and even some elements of minimalism. According to Lindberg: "Pluralism is not necessarily very interesting in itself. The main thing for me is this kaleidoscopic writing, in which the maximum variety is obtained out of a limited musical material."

© Risto Nieminen, 1993

translated by © Nick Le Quesne

© Ircam - Centre Georges-Pompidou, 1993

(From Magnus Lindberg, Helsinki 1996)

La pièce pour clarinette et violoncelle, dont le titre provient d'un film de Buster Keaton, est écrite pour Kari Kriikku et Aussi Karttunen, qui avaient demandé à plusieurs compositeurs finlandais de leur écrire un duo. La création a eu lieu lors d'un concert de l'ensemble Toimii au Festival d'automne de Varsovie.

Steamboat Bill Jr. est née en 1990 pendant la période où Lindberg travaillait sur Joy. Paradoxalement, si l'on pense à un duo composé de deux instruments mélodiques, l'oeuvre se fonde sur une conception harmonique. La clarinette et le violoncelle créent de larges accords successifs en alternant plusieurs niveaux de registre. «J'imagine que le musicien jouant cette pièce doit se sentir comme un joueur d'échecs effectuant plusieurs coups en même temps», écrit Lindberg.

© Risto Nieminen, 1993

© Ircam - Centre Georges-Pompidou, 1993

(From Magnus Lindberg, Ircam 1993)


cl, vlc


Chamber Works


Kari Kriikku, clarinet, Anssi Karttunen, cello, Warsaw Autumn Festival, September 15, 1990.

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