Silverman: Intertwining Clarinets Premiere

On November 16, Faye-Ellen Silverman’s chamber work Intertwining Clarinets receives its (in-person and live-stream) premiere (via Facebook) by the NY-based Licorice Clarinet Quartet. Presented by Composers Concordance, and in conjunction with William Patterson University’s New Music Series (Wayne, NJ), Intertwining Clarinets will be featured on the “Clarinet Motion” program, which will focus attention on both the sonic range and myriad techniques of contemporary clarinet playing. Performers include Michiyo Suzuki, Akari Yamamoto, Saerom Kim, and Chie Matsuura. The three-movement work will also be paired with new choreography by Max Pollak.

Silverman shares some thoughts about her new work. “Clarinet was my second instrument, after piano. I studied clarinet for several years with the renowned clarinetist Harold Freeman. While in school I played clarinet in orchestras and bands, including the Columbia University band when it played Carnegie Hall. So it was a pleasure to be asked to write for the instrument by Composers Concordance, who are presenting this concert. I chose to create a clarinet duo, in which the players will trade-off in movements.”

She continues. “Intertwining Clarinets is in three short movements – ‘Intermixing,’ ‘Intertwined,’ and ‘Dancing Together.’ My compositions are usually concerned with timbre and with uses of melody and melodic fragments. Additionally, several of my works refer to my Jewish heritage. ‘Intermixing’ makes use of the contrasting ranges of the clarinet, whose colors change so profoundly in the low, middle, and high ranges. The opening pitches of E, F and A, and their intervallic structure, pervade the movement, sometimes appearing in their original intervals, and sometimes changing to a major second and/or a minor third. The opening intervals also create themes for the later movements. ‘Intertwined’ has the clarinets constantly changing places. The parts climb together in range and volume, then descend, although not going quite as low as where they started. The ranges cross, like intertwined fingers. The last movement, ‘Dancing Together,’ refers to klezmer clarinet and the tradition of Jewish dance as a celebration. As the dance gets underway, the piece accelerates to express the joy of dancing.”