Concerto

for Clarinet and Orchestra with String Quartet Obbligato

Sydney Hodkinson

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Publisher: Merion Music, Inc.
Print Status: Rental

Quick Overview

The Concerto for Clarinet is a composition written to pay homage to: a) an instrument I revere; b) the ?jazz baggage? I carried through my first forty years: Ballad/Boogie/Waltz/Bebop; c) the early American symphonists, particularly Riegger, Piston, and my teacher Bernard Rogers; and d) an artist friend of impeccable musicianship. The three movements are marked by a (hopefully) clear structure and an absence of any contemporary ?sound-effects.? Much of the solo part is filtered through, and perhaps encrusted with, my own youthful jazz ?clarinet-memories?: particularly Benny Goodman and Buddy deFranco.

The first movement opens with the annunciation of a brief ascending signal-motto which continues to reappear in many guises as a cyclical, binding-force throughout the course of the entire work. Two thematic ideas (A and B) are then presented by the soloist: the first cantabile, the second more vociferous. A third melodic fragment (C: a brief series of syncopated chords) serves later as a closing-theme. All three groups are born out of the opening harmonic blocks, and each idea partakes predominantly of its own special diet of intervals. While the formal structure carries many harbingers of conventional sonata-design, its shape is ?doctored? as the piece wends its course. For example: 1) the B theme, which starts to be developed even as it is being presented, and further modified in its reprise, is (therefore?) absent entirely from the development section itself; 2) the A theme undergoes considerable variation before the closing theme appears; 3) the C group, previously dormant, later functions as the climax of the recapitulation; so that 4) the A theme, now slower, can only wistfully die away. The movement closes with echoes of the opening signal motto, carrying over into?

?the second movement, which starts as a simple 2-part form, more in the nature of a Fred Astaire-like (1930?s) ?Grand Ballroom Waltz? than a true slow movement. An unadorned, somewhat na

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Additional Information

Composition Date 1989
Duration 00:26:00
Orchestration 2(Picc.) 2(E.H.) 2(B.Cl.) 2 - 2 2 1 0; Timp. 2Perc. Pno.(Cel.) Hp. Obbligato String Quartet, Str.
Premiere November 12th & 14th, 1992. Kenneth Grant, Clarinet, Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by David Effron, Eastman Theatre, Rochester, New York.

Details

I con grandezza
II a la valse, con grazia
III animato: con spirito, vivace

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