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Publication Date

Winter 12-8-2013

Year of Release



accompanied by Mila Markun, piano

Olivia Hay, violin

Ross Patrick, djembe

This recital is presented in partial fulfillment of the requirements for a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in clarinet performance. Mr. Blair is a student in the clarinet studio of Dr. Ann Marie Bingham.

John Cage was an American avant-garde composer best known for his composition 4 '33" (consisting of four minutes and 33 seconds of "silence") and his works for prepared piano. Sonata for Clarinet was composed in 1933 while Cage was studying with Richard Buhlig. It is Cage's earliest published work. Cage revised the work and it was re-published in 1963. The work contains no dynamics, articulation or phrasing indications. Overall, the style is, in the words of Cage scholar James Pritchett, "chromatic, rhythmically complex, and unmetrical." Movement one is based on the twelve-tone technique (all 12 chromatic pitches played in the order of the composer's choosing) and retrogrades of various melodic and rhythmic fragments. Movement two is lyrical in nature and features several meter changes. Movement three is an exact pitch retrograde of the first.

Daniel Bimbi is a French composer. Dual Monologue for clarinet in B♭ & djernbé (2008) is based on a four note motive in the key of a minor. Throughout the work new motives based on this four note motive are introduced. These new motives are altered rhythmically and sometimes harmonically as well. Sixteenth note passages are employed in the clarinet part at various times in the work and function as transitional material. The djembe provides a strong, driving pulse throughout the work. The djembé part plays on the clarinet part in a way that gives the sense that a musical conversation is taking place between the two instruments.

Francis Poulenc composed works for a variety of different mediums including choir, solo voice, chamber music, ballet, orchestra, solo piano, and wind instruments. Composed in 1962, Poulenc's Sonata for Clarinet and Piano was a foray into a new style that was both aggressive and lyrical. The new lyricism in Poulenc's style occurred after his recovery from anxiety and depression that had been afflicting hint in the years prior to composing the sonata. In the opening of movement one of the sonata one can hear aggressive rhythmic interplay between both the clarinet and piano. This style is short-lived and the music abruptly makes a transition to a more lyrical style featuring ascending and descending lines in the clarinet part and an elongated piano part featuring stretched phrases. Extreme register leaps in the clarinet provide flare and contrast. This section features an ebb and flow between the piano and clarinet that is shaped by the contour of the melodic line and dynamic contrast throughout. The work then returns to a style similar to the aggressive rhythmic interplay between the clarinet and piano found in the opening measures of the movement. The music again abruptly changes to a slow, calm and subdued style featuring outbursts of expression and elongated phrases from both the clarinet and piano. The piece then returns to a faster, lyrical style and ends with the clarinet playing an understated trill that brings more contrast to the movement. Throughout the work Poulenc uses a full range of dynamics, tempos, and extreme instrument ranges to provide contrast, spontaneity, and suspense.

Paul Harvey is an English clarinetist, saxophonist, and composer. Composed in 1975, Three Etudes on Theme of Gershwin is based on three melodies from songs by the American composer George Gershwin. "I Got Rhythm" is taken from the musical Girl Crazy and "Summertime" and "It Ain't Necessarily So" are taken from the opera Porgy and Bess. Each of the three movements is meant to sound as if it was improvised and the work has a free and rhapsodic nature to it. Harvey employs chromatic passages, differing melodic passages, and passages that are derived melodically and rhythmically from each of the different melodies throughout the work.

Aram Khachaturian was a Soviet Armenian composer. He composed ballets, symphonies, concertos, film scores, and chamber music. His works were influenced by Armenian folk music as well as European classical music. Trio for Clarinet, Violin and Piano was composed in 1932. It features an exotic style influenced by Armenian folk music.

Throughout the work, the clarinet and violin share the melodic material. The highly expressive first movement is rhapsodic, improvisatory, and gypsy-like in nature. It features ornamented passages in the clarinet and violin. The piano part functions in rhythmic conflict with the clarinet and violin parts. The second movement begins as a scherzo before settling into a folk tune with rich color and precise rhythms. The middle section combines these two ideas before returning to the folk melody. The movement concludes with a scherzo section similar to the opening. Movement three is based on an Uzbekistani folk song. The movement highlights the contrasting the timbres of the different instruments. Both the clarinet and violin are featured during the movement's climax, and afterwards the music winds down before dissipating into nothingness.


Smith Recital Hall

Library of Congress Authorities

Cage, John. Sonatas, clarinet

Khachaturi︠a︡n, Karėn, 1920-2011

Harvey, Paul, 1935- Etudes on themes of Gershwin

Poulenc, Francis, 1899-1963. Sonatas, clarinet, piano

Bimbi, Daniel, 1971-


recitals, chamber music, clarinet, sonatas


Arts and Humanities | Fine Arts | Music | Music Performance

Marshall University Music Department Presents a Senior Recital, Joshua Blair, clarinet