For Pierrot ensemble
This quintet has nothing in common with Pierrot Lunaire by Arnold Schoenberg other than the choice of instruments. The composer had recently attended a performance of this work and was intrigued by the instrumentation, whilst finding the music not to his taste.
The title came to mind in 2019 because it was the 25th Anniversary of the Karabiner Mountaineering Club Expedition to the Pourquoi Pas Glacier in East Greenland which the composer had taken part in. The expedition was in celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the founding of the Club. It seemed a good idea as a title of a piece of music as the answer to any “Why?” question about the composition could be answered by the literal translation “Why not?”. This quintet was being planned at the time, so it was given the title. It would have been nice to say that the quintet was an evocation of the mountains and glaciers of Greenland, but this was not possible as it is the total silence which particularly impresses in this environment (except on a windy day). It is like being in an anechoic laboratory.
The composition is in two short movements entitled “Romanza” and “Rondo Capriccioso”. The Romanza, marked Andante cantabile, follows traditional sonata form. However, the key progression is far from traditional. The tonic is D but the tonality is modal, being mainly Dorian and Lydian, and in marked contrast to Schoenberg’s twelve-tone technique. There is a buildup towards the recapitulation which anticipates a cadenza, but the pianist is asked to show skill in legato playing rather than virtuosity. The Rondo follows the usual ABABA pattern with the A section characterized by 3+3+2 rhythm and the B section by 2+2+3 rhythm. Each section is in a different key and features each instrument in turn. The final coda concludes the work in D major.