Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Impending Concerto

Alright, tonight I put down the instrument in a huff. I haven't done that in years. When nothing is going right, it's time to put it down and do something else. Perhaps blog? Watch a movie?

Pozzi Escot's Clarinet Concerto is what's confounding me. More importantly, the altissimo (very high) notes are giving me fits. You see, up that high, the merest twitch can cause a note to be off by an interval of a 4th or 5th. Up there we do the same highwire act that Horn players perform every day. Of course, we're not used to it. Mozart, Brahms, Scelsi, and even Lee Hyla don't tend to live up there where the air is rare. Picking out a specific pitch from a harmonic series based on a single fingering is really a pain in the ass. Of course, if the piece weren't fantastic, I would have scheduled a different piece in it's place long ago. I'm much more willing to slave (over a hot stove?) if the piece is so well constructed that the difficulties are necessary.

Of course, if Lee ever reads that last page, he'll add an altissimo solo part to Pre-Pulse Suspended just to spite me. Go ahead, Lee...Give it your best shot.

Here's the listing from the New England Conservatory website of my performance as a Guest Artist:

nec shivaree

Feb 1, 2006
8pm Free
Brown Hall

Stephen Drury leads performances by nec shivaree, the avant-garde student ensemble, of Michael Finnissy's The Greatest Hits of All Time with Michael Norsworthy '01 M.M., '03 G.D., clarinet; Morton Feldman's Trio for Flutes; Pozzi Escot's Concerto for Clarinet with Christopher Bush '01, '03 M.M., clarinet; and John Luther Adams's songbirdsongs.

This is some damned fine music, if I do say so myself.


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