This evening’s Lagniappe recital was a veritable potpourri of old favorites and new and neglected works.
Jody Webb opened the recital with two infrequently performed works by eclectic English composer Josef Holbrooke. Webb’s first selection, Eileen Shona, was originally included in Holbrooke’s quintet Mezzotints, but was later reassigned (as Holbrooke was often wont to do) as the second movement of his Quintet Op. 27. This piece’s conversational style was well executed by clarinetist Jody Webb and accompanist Willis Delony. Webb’s second selection, Cyrene, was originally a movement in Holbrooke’s saxophone concerto. It was filled with Debussian flourishes in the piano, as well as melodic lines reminiscent of Debussy’s La fille aux cheveux de lin. Webb’s final selection, Holbrooke’s Apollo Quintet was omitted.
Amanda Morrison, joined by flautist Dan Parasky, presented a very interesting duet, Kurt Knecht, 3 Pieces in 3 Styles. Each of the three movements, Duel, Suspension, and Rikud, quite accurately and literally described the overall styles! The first movement particularly showed off the range of the clarinet through use of small, repetitive note groupings. Morrison and Parasky’s communication was excellent throughout their performance, but perhaps best demonstrated in the third and final movement, Rikud. Knecht brought the Rikud (an Israeli folk dance) to life through use of minimalist-style repeated rhythmic cells. Morrison and Parasky did an excellent job of bringing out the variances in articulation styles (particularly the slap-tonguing).
The recital concluded with a performance by Jeff Geller of two works, the much loved and oft-performed Osborne Rhapsody, and a little known work by Edward MacDowell, Three Pieces for Clarinet and Piano. Geller’s performance of the Osborne was nuanced and thoughtful. The MacDowell, new to the reviewer’s ears, was a lovely ramble. Geller’s chalumeau was particuflarly lovely in the first movement, Lover. The final movement, from Dwarfland, was a sparky, fun little romp, and an excellent finish to a lovely recital.
–Notes by Nora Shaffer
Nora Shaffer, a recent DePaul University graduate (CER ‘14, MM ‘12), is a passionate performer and dedicated teacher in the ChicagoLand area. Additionally, she is Principal and E-flat Clarinetist with the Lake Effect Clarinet Quartet.