voice of the hidden waterfall

by Matthew Whittall

for clarinet and piano

Empty sheet

Matthew Whittall

voice of the hidden waterfall

Fennica Gehrman


This piece is the result of one of the best artistic
cross-fertilizations I’ve been party to. In 2016, the bassoonist and
painter Bridget Allaire paid me the supreme compliment of creating a
work inspired by an orchestral piece of mine that she’d premiered, The
return of light – a beautiful canvas which now appears on the cover of
the recording. Bridget later offered the original painting to me, with
the suggested payment being a short recital piece as a birthday present
for her husband, the clarinetist Harri Mäki.

I’d recently bought another painting of hers as a gift for my wife,
and when Bridget delivered it to me, Harri commented wistfully that he’d
liked having it in their house and would miss seeing it. I felt badly
about robbing him of a work of art he’d enjoyed, so I decided to give it
back to him in musical form. The resulting piece attempts to capture
the painting’s alternations of spaciousness and effusive denseness, and
the juxtaposition of light and dark in its colors. The insouciant
clarinet line rarely takes much notice of the piano’s activity,
preferring to observe it from a distance while musing rhapsodically.
Only progressively does the clarinet drift into stasis and
contemplation, as if finally truly seeing the painting for the first


cl, pno


Chamber Works


Harri Mäki, clarinet, Irina Zahharenkova, piano, December 20, 2017, Helsinki

Commisioned by / dedications

Dedicated to Harri Mäki and Bridget Allaire

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