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assisted by:

Mark Smith, piano

Rebecca Adkins, clarinet

This recital is presented in partial fulfillment of the requirements for a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in performance. Ms. Burgh is a student in the clarinet studio of Dr. Donald Williams.

Johannes Brahms

Sonata in E-flat Major for Clarinet and Piano, op. 120, no. 2

In 1890, Johannes Brahms declared to friends and to his publisher that he intended to retire as a composer and even canceled his plans to travel to Italy to begin work on another symphony. However, this soon changed after hearing a performance by the German clarinetist Richard Mühlfeld. Brahms called Mühlfeld "the greatest wind player in the world" and was so inspired by his performance that he deferred his retirement long enough to write four final chamber works which feature the clarinet. The two sonatas were published together in 1895 as opus 120, no. 1 and 2, and were dedicated to Mühlfeld. The first movement is characteristically warm and tender, with lyrical melodic lines and delicate interplay between the two instruments. The second movement is a considerably more upbeat scherzo with a menacing, twisting melody. The trio changes character with a contrasting solemn section that sounds almost like a church hymn or anthem, only to lead back into the original theme. The final movement returns to the sweetness of the first movement, this time taking a general idea and developing it in variation. The middle section of this movement is highly chromatic, once again including melodic exchange between the parts. The movement soon returns to a major key and Brahms ends the work both with delicacy and with a triumph that is considerably appropriate for his final piece of chamber music.

Francis Poulenc

Sonata for Two Clarinets, op. 7

Poulenc's Sonata for Two Clarinets is one of the composer's earliest works. It was written in 1918, when Poulenc was 19 years old and was serving in the French military. This work calls for two clarinets: one pitched in B-flat and one in A, giving the composer an additional semi-tone in its lower register. The content of the sonata is typical of Poulenc's writing, in that it contains drastic tempo contrasts, energetic rhythmic material, and chromatic melodies throughout.

Mauricio Murcia Bedoya

Sueños for two clarinets and guitar

Mauricio Murcia Bedoya was born in Columbia in 1976. He received his bachelor's degree in clarinet and conducting from the Universidad Nacional de Colombia, and a Professional Performance Certificate at Florida's Lynn University Conservatory in 2008. This duet is in a single movement, which continuously transfers the melodic material between the two instruments. Bedoya has composed several clarinet duets written in this same fashion, combining elements of his Latin heritage and rhythmic material that comes as a challenge to even the most advanced of players.

Witold Lutoslawski

Dance Preludes for Clarinet and Piano

Dance Preludes for clarinet and piano is a chamber work by Witold Lutoslawski. The composer once referred to it as "my farewell to folklore for an indefinite period." This work completed what had been one of the most difficult times of his career. He felt his artistic freedom was limited because most Polish composers, in order to make an adequate living, had a tendency to conform to the nationalistic style. The five movements that form this work are based on folk songs from North Poland, yet incorporate an avant-garde style, resulting in a variety of contrast between feelings of aggression and melancholia. This is the original version of the work, composed in 1954, for clarinet and piano. This piece was later revised for chamber ensemble and again for orchestra.


Smith Recital Hall

Library of Congress Authorities

Brahms, Johannes, 1833-1897. Sonatas, clarinet, piano, op. 120. No. 2

Poulenc, Francis, 1899-1963. Sonatas, clarinets (2)

Lutosławski, Witold, 1913-1994. Preludia taneczne


recitals, sonatas, clarinet


Arts and Humanities | Fine Arts | Music | Music Performance

Marshall University Music Department Presents Emilea Burgh, Clarinet