Thursday, January 16, 2014

Today I present my original composition, DANCING ALONE (THEME AND VARIATIONS FOR CLARINET IN C MINOR).  I completed this piece in 1994 and scored it for clarinet.  Below is a screenshot of the title page from the autograph score:

This work for clarinet solo is a set of variations on an original theme.  I tried to create a virtuosic work that suitably displays the rich variety of colorful sonorities and techniques so characteristic of this instrument.  From its thick, velvety, almost erotic “chalumeau”, to its serene, haunting, and expressive “clarion”, on up through its dramatic, anxious, and sometimes alarmingly piercing “altissimo”, all three distinct registers of this star from the wind family make composing for it a joy indeed!

Writing for unaccompanied wind instruments is always a challenge for me; as it is for any other single note non-harmonic instrument.  In the absence of any harmony, outside of that suggested in arpeggios, all interest lies in the horizontal rather than vertical structure of the music.  Of the three pillars of musical art, namely Rhythm, Melody, and Harmony, only Rhythm and Melody are possible.  Thus, the structure is weakened and the edifice may collapse if the material is not strong enough to compensate.  I do not know if my architecture is stable.  As always, I’ll let the listener decide.

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DANCING ALONE (THEME AND VARIATIONS FOR CLARINET IN C MINOR), Copyright©1994 DamonMusic by Sean Damon Rohde.  All rights reserved