The Harlequinade was a popular theatrical spectacle developed in England during the 17th-century. Its story revolves around a comic incident in the lives of its five main characters.: Harlequin, who loves Columbine, her greedy father Pantaloon, who tries to separate the lovers in league with the mischievous Clown, and the servant Pierrot. The productions were full of slapstick, acrobatics, dancing and magical effects. These three miniatures draw on some key moments in the drama.
1. 'Here We Are Again!' are the only spoken words, uttered by the Clown at the start of the Harlequinade. The music is fast, with off-beat pizzicato and irregular rhythms suggesting the comic nature of the character.
'Here We Are Again!' was premiered at Wells Cathedral School (Somerset) on 4 March 2012 by Joe Prindl (double bass) and Gemma Beeson (piano).
2. Pantaloon's Lament is a slow, ponderous movement in which Pantaloon expresses his thoughts on the seriousness of life. The opening bar is repeated throughout the piece, with additional lines gradually added to create a five-part texture.
Pantaloon's Lament was premiered at Wells Cathedral School (Somerset) on 4 March 2012 by Nic Lum (double bass) and Gemma Beeson (piano).
3. Harlequin's Dance for Columbine uses two alternating musics to reflect Harlequin's dual nature as both magical acrobat and Columbine's seductive lover. The piece ends with an echo of the opening movement as Clown returns to close the show.