Jolliffe, Edmund: My Family and Other Animals for Clarinet and Piano
The composer has written extensively for film and television, and his gift for musical characterisation illuminates every bar of My Family and Other Animals. Here is a delightful human menagerie, a family circle with its typical variety of awkward and amiable relatives, beautifully portrayed in music of beguiling simplicity by Edmund Jolliffe. Technically, for beginners and early-grade players, there is an important lesson that musical expression is in essence the expression of personality, often from the most basic musical resources. Brother is a cool repeated phrase – a bit detached. Mum is a gentle lullaby, and Grandmother a soothing, dependable tune. Grandfather turns sweet too, but not before a spiky introduction. From his breezy melody Dad seems on his way elsewhere. Perhaps off to wash the car!