Chamber Concerto

for Clarinet and Chamber Ensemble

James Primosch

Duration: 17:00
Publisher: Merion Music, Inc.
Print Status: Rental

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Chamber Concerto - James Primosch - Network for New Music

Quick Overview

A favorite instrument of Mozart and Martino, of Brahms and Babbitt, emblematic of early and swing jazz idioms, the clarinet brings rich associations to the concerto spotlight. I have had a little experience with the instrument myself, having played it in my college's wind ensemble, and having been blessed with many splendid advocates for an early piece of mine for clarinet, piano and tape. One of those interpreters was Allen Blustine, and I feel honored to have his virtuosity again put at the service of my music in this concerto.

In the slow prelude and postlude of the first movement, the ensemble shadows the clarinet, providing resonances and echoes. Only in the central faster portion does the ensemble add more independent voices to the discourse. A simple descending scale becomes the backdrop for a keening clarinet in the second movement. Eventually, the proliferating events turn lamentation into something more dramatic, and it takes a reflective solo cadenza before the ensemble can return to that scale, this time in both descending and ascending forms.

Contrasting layered pulses animate the moto perpetuo of the finale. At the movement's center, the clarinet's jazz heritage unexpectedly comes to the fore, though I suppose the polyrhythms hint at this all along.

Additional Information

Commission Commissioned by Speculum Musicae with funds provided by the Mary Flagler Cary Charitable Trust.
Composition Date 2002
Orchestration Solo Cl.; 1Perc. Pno. Synthesizer Vl. Vcl. Cb.
Premiere March 25th, 2002. Allen Blustine, Clarinet, Speculum Musicae, conducted by Donald Palma; Merkin Concert Hall, New York.


I. Adagio; Allegro; Adagio
II. Adagio
III. Allegro vivace

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