In 1823, Beethoven completed his masterful set of 33 variations on a simple waltz tune written by Anton Diabelli.
In 2010, Network for New Music celebrated its 25th Anniversary by commissioning 25 composers to write a brief variation on the same Diabelli theme. For his variation, Arne Running decided to go for "down and dirty." The opening five-bar cello riff (marked "scruffy, jazzy, rock-and-roll-y") is repeated five times, over which the clarinet "goes to town" with exuberantly wild and jazzy licks based on the Diabelli tune.
In the rousing conclusion, listen for humorous quotes from The Entrance of the Gladiators by Fucik (commonly referred to as the "Circus March") and Till Eulenspiegel by Richard Strauss.
This piece was designed to be a fun-loving conclusion, or encore, for a program featuring the more standard repertoire for this combination of instruments.