for clarinet and piano; 9′ (2002)
(commissioned by Linda Bartley and Martha Fischer)
2. Allegro Agitato
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These “Fantasy Pieces” are studies in extreme contrast, in putting two musical explorations side-by-side that are in hugely contrasting sound-worlds, and seeing how they interact. The first piece is a hazy minimalist-inspired piece, light and dreamlike. It’s based on a 13-note rhythmic pattern that gives the dreamy texture of the work an unsettled feeling beneath the surface. The second piece is wild and melodramatic, taking its inspiration in part from Schumann’s “Fantasiestücke” for clarinet, in part from Astor Piazzolla’s “nuevo tango” music, and in part from my own training as a former clarinetist, remembering the kinds of things I had the most fun performing. In putting these two works next to each other, my hope is to point out the range of the clarinet, to show two hugely different sides of this basic pairing of clarinet with piano. And also to present varied ways of creating dramatic shapes: first, to allow one idea to slowly bloom over 5 minutes, and second to boldly go right for the drama in near-operatic style.