Distant Words Op.43

Digging Deeper

Download sheet music Op.43a
[Clarinet in Bb and String Trio]

Download sheet music Op.43b
[Clarinet in Bb and String Orchestra, featured on the album REMOTE GALAXY]

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Distant Words (a title, one suspects, where the composer has indulged in a little wordplay on "words" and "worlds"!) is, for a work scored for a homogeneous group of instruments in the chamber-music tradition, an astonishingly multi-faceted composition.
The extreme range of the clarinet is given a virtuosic but at the same time restrained, almost ascetic, solo part. Light and vitality permeate the whole piece the composer hints at a sense of euphoria over the presence of the girl, but at the same time the listener feels a hesitant tenderness, a distance of Schubertian proportions.
Wolfgang Plagge, professor

Distant Words is a two-movement fantasy for Clarinet in Bb and String Trio / String Orchestra.


  1. Typhoon at Heart (10:30)
  2. Healed by Red Wind (5:00)

Op.43b was recorded for the Grammy-nominated album REMOTE GALAXY (2L) by Mark van de Wiel and Philharmonia Orchestra, conducted by Vladimir Ashkenazy.

This is a terrific work that deserves to be taken up by clarinetists and orchestras. The Classical Reviewer

[...] In the latter the range (and jazzy virtuosity) of Mark van de Wiels clarinet seems to play the unsung role of a lover. This, the lightest piece in the collection, surely deserves a further shelf life in the concert hall. Gramophone magazine

Distant Words Op.43

Clarinet in Bb and string trio (Op.43a)
Clarinet in Bb and string orchestra (Op.43b)

Performed by Mark van de Wiel (clarinet) and Philharmonia Orchestra, conducted by Vladimir Ashkenazy.

It is strongly recommend listening to this piece with good sound equipment / headset.

Watch a live performance of Distant Words Op.43b No.2

Live performance by Roger Arve Vigulf, clarinet & Pluri_Art Orchestra, Moscow, conducted by Viacheslav Valeev.
Yuri Medianik, concert master. Choreography: Flint Juventino Beppe

I very much enjoyed preparing and performing Distant Words. Flint Juventino understands the clarinet's voice very well, and gives it a combination of lyricism and virtuosity, which is most rewarding to play. I was thrilled to have the chance to record it with Maestro Ashkenazy and my Philharmonia colleagues.
Mark van de Wiel, solo clarinettist Philharmonia Orchestra, London