This Bass Clarinet Concerto is virtuosic, but not necessarily in a typical concerto sort of a way. Rather than lots of flashy runs and fast passagework, it features a virtuosically wide range of colors and approaches to the instrument, from aggressive grooving to lyrical soaring to altissimo wailing. Like many performer-composers before me, I sought to draw on my own strengths and idiosyncracies as a player to create music that, while technically impressive, was also quite comfortable and enjoyable to play. Especially notable are the extreme altissimo passages, with the instrument regularly playing in a range that would be considered high even on a “regular” Bb clarinet; and the use of “throat harmonics,” a technique that uses changes in throat position to create buzzy overtones of the fundamental pitch in the manner of a throat singer or didgeridoo player. The work is classically concerto-like in its conception, with a sense of dialog and interplay between soloist and ensemble. It is structured similarly to Aaron Copland’s 1948 Clarinet Concerto, with a slow, lyrical first movement leading directly into a solo cadenza, which culminates in a fast and energetic second movement.
Originally composed for orchestra, the clarinet choir version was composed for and premiered at the Fifth European Clarinet Festival in Ghent, Belgium.
SHEET MUSIC FOR THIS PIECE CAN BE PURCHASED AS PART OF THE CLARINET CHOIR SPECIAL OR THE SUPER DUPER MEGA ULTRA INCREDIBLE ALL CLARINET MUSIC SPECIAL