Program notes

Sonata for clarinet and piano (1997)
By Paul Desenne (b. 1959 – Venezuela)

The Clarinet Sonata was composed in 1997 for Venezuelan clarinetist Eloy Salgado.
The first movement was originally written for clarinet in A, the second in Bb and the third for bass clarinet in Bb (optional regular Bb clarinet).

Tácata is a small town in the central valleys of Northern Venezuela, the land of Tuyero music, which is an extremely lively, rhythmic genre, played with harp and maracas to accompany singers and dancers. The first movement “Tácata Tocata” celebrates the syncopated and exalted spirit of this music, but is by no means a transcription. The second movement “Borges” pays homage to the Argentine writer of essays and fiction, and to the enigmas that seem to float in the atmospheres of Buenos Aires. The style of this movement is related to tango and candombe. The last movement “Aracataca” is the birthplace of Colombian author Gabriel García Márquez. The music of his native culture, the cumbia, is celebrated here; a laid back, syncopated form of remarkable intensity.

The sonata is to be played throughout with a heightened sense of rhythmic precision, exact tempi and relentless energy.

Fantasia Sul America (1983)
Claudio Santoro (1919-1989, Brazil)

Cláudio Franco de Sá Santoro was an internationally renowned Brazilian composer and violinist.

A native of Manaus, the capital of Amazonas, Claudio Santoro started to study violin and piano as a child. His efforts made the Government of Amazonas send him to study in Rio de Janeiro, at the Musical Conservatory of Rio de Janeiro.

At the age of 18, he was already a teacher of the violin course at the conservatory. He was a pupil of Hans-Joachim Koellreutter, composer that influenced Santoro. He also studied in Paris with Nadia Boulanger. He co-founded and played in the Brazilian Symphony Orchestra. His prolific output was mostly instrumental and includes fourteen symphonies, three piano concertos and seven string quartets.

Claudio Santoro died in Brasília in March 1989 while conducting the rehearsal of a concert scheduled to commemorate the 14 July bicentennial of the French Revolution. His 70th birthday would have been in November.

Fantasia Sul America is the tittle for a series of 15 pieces (14 for different solo instruments including clarinet, double bass, bassoon, flute, oboe, trombone, horn, trumpet, tuba, viola, guitar, violin, violoncello and 1 for voice and piano) commissioned by “Sul America” for the confrontation tests of the competition “Young Interpreters of Brazilian Music 1983”, Rio de Janeiro; Edition Savart.

Niebla y Cemento (1993)
Mario Herrerías (1954-2018, Argentine)

According to his daughter, María Soledad Herrerías (April, 2022) “Niebla y Cemento, originally for flute, cello and piano, was commissioned by the Argentinian flautist Jorge de la Vega in the mid 1990s.”
At this dark stage in his life, Mario Herrerías was divorced and could not spend all of his days with his daughter. On those newly separated nights, he got together with a great friend and musician, César Salgán. So Mario shared that he was writing for Jorge de la Vega. Salgán told him: “It’s good, but it’s correct and no more; very traditional. You must make something better”. Angry, Mario returned home, on a path of fog and cement. In fifteen days, without stopping, he finished the composition”.

Fantasía Afrodecendiente for clarinet and audio sequence (2022 World Première)*
Orlando Cardozo (b. 1970, Venezuela)
*Dedicated to Carmen Borregales

This piece is dedicated to Carmen Borregales for one of her Doctoral Recitals at the University of South Carolina. We have had a common interest in introducing a story with experimental language, based on Venezuelan cultural roots with a unique instrumentation format. As a result, the clarinet interacts with an audio sequence of sample sounds taken from Latin/Afro Caribbean percussion, voices, tuned percussion instruments (vibraphone and marimba) and quitiplás (Venezuelan traditional bamboo drums). Fantasía Afrodescendiente is inspired by some rhythms and traditional afro descendant songs from Venezuela’s coastal regions; more specifically, the Miranda and Vargas states. Also, the soloist plays in a variety of timbre resources, combined with great virtuoso passages, fast intervals, multiphonics and molto cantabile phrases. All this is to create a work of great energy and vitality.

The Cape Cod Files for Clarinet and Piano (2009)
Paquito D’Rivera (b. 1948, Cuba)

Composed by Paquito D’Rivera for clarinetist Jon Manasse and pianist Jon Nakamatsu:

Benny @ 100 inspired by Benny Goodman’s unique way of jazz phrasing, as well as his incursion in the so-called “classical” arena, this movement is a celebration of the most famous clarinetist’s 100th birthday. Bandoneon an Argentinean Milonga that recreates the nostalgic sound of the exotic instrument that in the opinion of many, represents the very soul of the Tango. Lecuonerías, unaccompanied solo clarinet improvisations around some of the melodies written by the foremost of the Cuban composers, pianist extraordinaire Ernesto Lecuona. Chiquita Blues, using elements of the American 12 bar blues, as well as traditional Cuban Danzón and contemporary atonal music, the final movement of The Cape Cod Files was inspired by Antonio Orlando Rodríguez’s novel “Chiquita,” based on the life of a 26 inch tall Cuban Lilliputian singer and actress who achieved great success in New York at the end of the IXX, beginning of the XX century.

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