Fantasy for Solo B-flat Clarinet (2007)
Written for and dedicated to clarinetist Eliza Brown, the Fantasy for Solo Bb Clarinet is a self-contained, rather elaborate solo piece. The Bb clarinet is really three instruments combined. The rumbling bass at the lower register differs significantly from the sweet, pure and gentle middle voice. The high and screaming upper register is no less interesting than the other two lower “instruments.”
It is always a challenge to write for a solo instrument, especially with one that carries so many possibilities. While I have to think about exploring the different timbres possible of the clarinet, I also need to plan carefully for the free rhythmic flow of the piece as the solo clarinet is not playing against or with any instrument.
Throughout the piece, I have learned to turn my attention from vertical chordal harmony to individual voice leading. Every interval between the notes is carefully planned, so that one feels cohesiveness and organism within the composition. At this point, I consider that the clarinet is harmonizing itself although it is a strict monophonic instrument.
There are two different themes, and very often, the melodic ideas overlap with each others. This piece is an attempt to write out my completely free and rhapsodic imagination.
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