The 9:00 AM recital on Friday featured a full program with four ensembles performing. The opening piece, Cuicani by Mario Lavista, was performed by Mary-Elizabeth Thompson, flute and Christopher Nichols, clarinet. This soft and mysterious work displayed the performer’s dark tones and sensitivity to pitch and intervals with microtones and different tones enhancing the sounds of the duo.
Trois Scèces pour J.L. was conducted by composer Dan Welcher, who wrote the piece in dedication to former University of Louisville clarinet professor James Livingston. Performers in the J.L. Quartet included Sheri L. Rolf (E-flat clarinet), Matthew Nelson (clarinet), Solomon Baer (clarinet), and Richard Nunemaker (bass clarinet). Each movement represents different elements of Livingston’s life and interests, focusing on his love of everything French. Idée Fixes was based on the music of Berlioz, and introduced the ensemble’s powerful sound. Rêves des oiseaux was a serious movement featuring independent lines for all players, Callimachus, Le chat de la bibliothèque was inspired by Livingston’s wife’s librarian career, and their cat named after the first librarian, Callimachus. This movement concluded the quartet with a fun Ravel-style waltz.
Shelly Myers (oboe), Osiris J. Molina (clarinet), and Jenny Mann (bassoon) of the Cavell Trio performed two pieces on the recital. Two Girls and a Boy by Amir Zaheri began with slow, staggered lines that showed off the trio’s fantastic ensemble blend and cohesion. Sept Vignettes by James Chaudoir is a work that includes several styles and tempi. The ensemble frequently uses the piece to help younger audiences think about musical imagery. It moves through perky and dissonant selections to more lyrical and expressive moments, creating a nice variety to close the trio’s set.
Carolina Clarinet, including Brent Smith (clarinet), Katie Vedder (bass clarinet), Shirley Violand-Jones (clarinet), Jim Williams (clarinet), closed the concert with three quartet pieces. Arrangements were done by Katie Vedder and Jim Williams. Denneriana by André Bloch had a memorable melody and nice blend in the ensemble accompaniment. Rhapsody, Op. 72, No. 2 by Johannes Brahms was a very nice quartet arrangement of the piano solo. The final work, Grand Waltz by Nobuo Uematsu ended the recital with an upbeat waltz featuring active parts for all performers.
–Notes by Jennifer Tinberg
Jennifer Tinberg is currently Adjunct Clarinet Faculty at Troy University and a doctoral student at Florida State University.