Six Seasons

Angelique Poteat composer and clarinet

Release Date: January 5, 2024
Catalog #: NV6595
Format: Digital
21st Century
String Quartet

Composer and clarinetist Angelique Poteat demonstrates the dynamic emotive range of her instrument through original chamber music on SIX SEASONS. The work is inspired by the six “growing seasons” described in Joshua McFadden’s cookbook of the same title. As the name suggests, the music also nods to Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons by beginning with early spring and journeying toward winter, symbolizing the arc of human life. A native of the Pacific Northwest, Poteat’s music reflects the natural beauty of her birthplace and has been described as “engaging, restless” by The New York Times and “extremely accomplished and vividly picturesque” by The Seattle Times.


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Track Listing & Credits

# Title Composer Performer
01 Six Seasons: I. Emerge Angelique Poteat Laura DeLuca, clarinet; Mikhail Shmidt, violin; Artur Girsky, violin; Olivia Chew, viola; Sarah Rommel, cello 4:16
02 Six Seasons: II. Push Angelique Poteat Laura DeLuca, clarinet; Mikhail Shmidt, violin; Artur Girsky, violin; Olivia Chew, viola; Sarah Rommel, cello 3:58
03 Six Seasons: III. Gaining Perspective Angelique Poteat Laura DeLuca, clarinet; Mikhail Shmidt, violin; Artur Girsky, violin; Olivia Chew, viola; Sarah Rommel, cello 4:58
04 Six Seasons: IV. Swelter Angelique Poteat Laura DeLuca, clarinet; Mikhail Shmidt, violin; Artur Girsky, violin; Olivia Chew, viola; Sarah Rommel, cello 3:51
05 Six Seasons: V. Thankful Angelique Poteat Laura DeLuca, clarinet; Mikhail Shmidt, violin; Artur Girsky, violin; Olivia Chew, viola; Sarah Rommel, cello 7:36
06 Six Seasons: VI. Sparkle Angelique Poteat Laura DeLuca, clarinet; Mikhail Shmidt, violin; Artur Girsky, violin; Olivia Chew, viola; Sarah Rommel, cello 5:05
07 Fluid Dovetail Angelique Poteat Olivia Chew, viola; Angelique Poteat, clarinet 9:36
08 Ripples of Possibilities: I. Ebb Angelique Poteat Laura DeLuca, clarinet; Angelique Poteat, clarinet 5:45
09 Ripples of Possibilities: II. Flow Angelique Poteat Laura DeLuca, clarinet; Angelique Poteat, clarinet 4:15

Thank You
Much gratitude is extended toward Brian and Lynn Grant, Steve and Katherine Trafton, Eva and Jon LaFollette, Seattle Office of Arts & Culture, 4Culture, and the Seattle Chamber Players for their support of this album.

Recorded June 5-6, 2023 at Bastyr Chapel in Kirkland WA
Session Producer Angelique Poteat
Session Producer & Engineer David Sabee
Editing & Mixing Angelique Poteat

Mastering Melanie Montgomery

Photography Evelyn Tay

Published by AMPOT Publishing

Executive Producer Bob Lord

A&R Director Brandon MacNeil
A&R Ivana Hauser

VP of Production Jan Košulič
Audio Director Lucas Paquette

VP, Design & Marketing Brett Picknell
Art Director Ryan Harrison
Design Edward A. Fleming
Publicity Kacie Brown

Artist Information

Angelique Poteat

Clarinetist, Composer

Angelique Poteat (b. 1986) is a native of the Pacific Northwest, and many of her works are inspired by the natural beauty of the region. Her music has been described as “engaging, restless” (New York Times), “serious and nicely crafted” (American Record Guide), and “extremely accomplished and vividly picturesque” (Seattle Times), receiving performances on four continents by ensembles including the Seattle Symphony Orchestra, arx Percussion Duo, Emerald City Music, CernaBella, and Trio Claviola. Poteat is the recipient of the 2015 American Prize in Orchestral Composition for her work Beyond Much Difference (2014), and has held Composer-in-Residence positions with the Seattle Symphony Orchestra and the New Music on the Rock Festival.


In 2003, my clarinet teacher at the time, Laura DeLuca, or Laurie, as everyone calls her, exposed me to the Harold Wright and Boston Chamber Players recording of the Brahms Clarinet Quintet, planting the seed for the foundation of my love for chamber music. I was entranced by the comradery and storytelling within the ensemble, as well as the weight of the work. When Laurie approached me 15 years later to commission me to compose a clarinet quintet for her, I felt the shadow of Brahms looming over me, both intimidating and equally inspiring, and knew that I wanted to incorporate some of the qualities that I admired so much in Brahms’ quintet into my own piece.

Six Seasons is named after the cookbook of the same title by Joshua McFadden, which Laurie introduced to me. As a dear friend and admired musician whose sound I became very familiar with over the years, I was drawn to the idea of creating a piece in six movements for Laurie, where each movement not only broke the year into six growing seasons, but also evolved into a snapshot of the complex life of a professional musician. As with Vivaldi, the piece begins in the early spring and journeys forward to winter.

The first movement, “Emerge,” has a pulsing energy, sometimes opening up the sound and range of the ensemble to welcome the sun, and other times retreating back to preserve and build energy in anticipation of the big push of late spring. Arpeggios later in the movement conjure arabesque imagery.

The second movement, “Push,” is the arrival of late spring, rhythmically charged and almost frantic at times. The dotted eighth repeated motif from the first movement becomes the basis for syncopation as I envision the ensemble as instruments in a drum kit. In the third movement representing early summer hiking season, “Gaining Perspective” uses the upper strings to inhale and exhale as if through a harmonica, while the cello pizzicato trudges like footsteps, occasionally pausing for breathless musings from the clarinet.

As a contrast, in the fourth movement, “Swelter,” brittle col legno and sul ponticello playing in the strings recreate a fragile post-forest-fire environment, and the high cello and viola solos on their C strings seem like strained laments. The fifth movement, “Thankful,” makes a nostalgic contemplation of fall and time with loved ones. The opening melody in the clarinet finally provides a full statement of melodic fragments presented earlier in the piece, which are embellished further throughout the movement. In the final movement, “Sparkle,” high gestures in the clarinet and violins glide like skiers in a glistening white landscape. A lyrical viola solo longs for warmth and, after one more round of dance-like gliding, succeeds in creating a deep foundation with the cello for a soaring clarinet line before the final grounding descent.

— Angelique Poteat

Fluid Dovetail began conception around the very early part of 2020, when a duo consisting of clarinetist Hsing-Hui Hsu and violist Elliot Isaacson asked me to compose something for them to expand their repertoire. To get an idea of how they played together, they performed Rebecca Clarke’s Prelude, Allegro, and Pastorale. I loved how their sounds blended and how, even with two instruments of nearly identical range, they were able to create a nice spectrum of timbre, range, dynamics, and expression. Shortly afterwards, the COVID-19 pandemic put everyone under lockdown and Hsing-Hui, from Seattle, wasn’t able to rehearse in-person with Elliot, from New York.

At this point, I had already composed the start to the fast second half of the piece where both instruments are in unison, but I switched gears and used that as source material to compose the first half of the piece, the “fluid” section. With virtual rehearsing and online latency in mind, the rhythms are notated approximately so that each player can respond to what they hear of the other player through a computer, and the freedom of rhythm still creates a beautifully interlocking foundation for expressivity. The following section was meant to be something to look forward to when in-person rehearsing was once more possible. The rhythms are specifically notated to intentionally sound offset, gradually becoming closer to one another until they unite in the original unison section before returning to a tranquil final passage that combines the atmosphere of the initial fluid section with the capability of united rhythms.

— Angelique Poteat

Ripples of Possibilities was composed in friendship for Laura DeLuca, with the second clarinet part created for myself. The title reflects on the rippling quality of the lines and how they interweave and trade off, mimicking and varying, allowing for both individuality and collaboration. While the first movement, “Ebb,” is more contemplative and day-dreamy, the second movement, “Flow,” is fiery and playful.

— Angelique Poteat