Julianne Kirk-Doyle (SUNY Potsdam) and Gail Novak (Arizona collaborative pianist) opened the 4pm recital with New Zealand composer Douglas Lilburn’s Sonatina for Clarinet and Piano. The first two movements are lyrical, showing the melodic range of the clarinet and Kirk-Doyle’s expressive playing. Some motives had hints of folk music inspiration, possibly due to the composer’s studies with Ralph Vaughan Williams. The third movement is brighter in both tempo and style, reflected in the lighter and more technical melody carried by the clarinet.
In Dante Dances (Dante’s Inferno), the high level of playing and collaboration between Kirk-Doyle and Novak was very apparent. Dan Welcher’s (UT Austin) seven-part, through-composed work took the audience through several different dance styles with a mix of lyrical, technical, and jazz-inspired elements. The variety of styles and moods combined with engaging performers resulted in a great concert experience.
STRATA is a trio including clarinetist Nathan Williams, violinist/violist James Stern, and pianist Audrey Andrist. They presented Kenneth Frazelle’s 2013 composition Trio: A Book of Days, which is inspired by passages from the poem Tape for the Turn of the Year by American poet by A. R. Ammons’. The five sections of the work are musical explorations of the following passages: 1. “all day life itself is bending, weaving changing,” 2. “paper and thin air,” 3. “some nights the stars are raw and brand new,” 4. “motions racing through, particles and drifts,” 5. “it was lovely: and it’s lost.” The work displayed the possibilities of the tone colors, musicality, and virtuosity of the ensemble. Many sections were sparse to highlight a single player, while other sections allowed STRATA to show off their high level of communication and expression as an ensemble. The work was very enjoyable to hear, and a great addition to our trio repertoire.
–Notes by Jennifer Tinberg
Jennifer Tinberg is currently Adjunct Clarinet Faculty at Troy University and a doctoral student at Florida State University.