The Concerto for Clarinet and Orchestra is a through-composed movement for full orchestra and clarinet solo. The principal concept of this composition is to explore the possibilities of the solo instrument while simultaneously fusing the clarinet with the orchestra in an unobtrusive way. In addition, the adoption of eastern rhythmic elements and the use of traditional eastern percussion instruments help to create diverse timbres, colors, and atmospheres within the western orchestral setting.
The primary intervals that saturate the entire work are the semitone and the tritone. The overarching use of these two intervals naturally builds a massive cluster of sound that leads to points of climax. Formally, the work is composed of six sections: Introduction (mm. 1-23), A (mm. 23-65), B (mm. 65-132), A’ (mm. 133-193), Clarinet Cadenza (mm. 194-225), and B’ (mm. 225-244). The introduction serves as a microcosm that foreshadows all the significant motivic materials and the drastically different scenes that will later be developed in the main body of the composition.
Sections A and A’ are very closely related. The main focus in these two sections is to establish a sparse texture and vague atmosphere through special instrumental effects and groupings. The solo clarinet leads both of the sections with a lyrical line, while other groups of instruments, especially percussion and strings, decorate and support in the background.
The solo clarinet cadenza is a virtuosic passage designed for the clarinetist to spread his or her wings freely by experimenting with extended techniques, such as multiphonics, bends in intonation on grace notes, and slap tonguing. These techniques not only help to increase the intensity but also to distinguish this section from the others.
Finally, sections B and B’ are two active sections, in which the primary motive (short accented notes) in the brass and low strings form the basis. The solo clarinet part is infused with a series of fast running notes. The prominent solo clarinet theme that occurs in section B (m. 94) is derived from the motivic idea found in the introduction in m. 17. This theme is then developed and leads the music into its first climax within the work (m. 132). Section B’ concludes the piece by fusing together all of the important motives presented in the former sections and by leading to the peak of the entire concerto.
|School:||The Florida State University|
|School Location:||United States -- Florida|
|Source:||DAI-A 69/12, Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Keywords:||Clarinet, Clarinet and orchestra, Clarinet concerto, Concerto, Orchestra, Original composition|
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