Bass Clarinet Double Concerto: bass clarinet choir version
My basic idea for the Bass Clarinet Double Concerto was of Weber’s clarinet concertos meeting heavy metal. I am intimately familiar with both genres, through extensively practicing the Weber concertos in high school, and performing heavy metal bass clarinet tunes as a member of the Edmund Welles bass clarinet quartet. When it came to writing a bass clarinet double concerto, then, it seemed logical (to me) to try to combine the heaviness and raw power of heavy metal with the dancing virtuosity and lyricism of Weber’s concertos. While the resulting piece doesn’t necessarily borrow explicitly from either, the underlying spirit of the work – a mixture of heavy, driving grooves, virtuosically dancing lines, and tender lyricism – comes from the combination of these two sources. The piece was composed for my bass clarinet duo Sqwonk, and the original chamber orchestra version was premiered in December 2007 by Sqwonk and the San Francisco Composers’ Chamber Orchestra. The Bass Clarinet Double Concerto now exists in six versions: chamber orchestra, symphonic band, clarinet choir, bass clarinet choir, mixed chamber ensemble, and piano. It has also been adapted into a double concerto for tenor and baritone saxophones.