Play It By Earclarinet in Bb, piano (2011)
|Commission||International Clarinet Association|
|Premiere||August 5, 2011; Valley Performing Arts Center, Los Angeles, CA; Derek Bermel, clarinet; Timothy Andres, piano|
The clarinetist-composer Derek Bermel asked me to make a transcription of my 2007 nonet, Play it by Ear, for the two of us to play together. Rather than transfer every note literally to the new version, I decided to write it down from memory; therefore, there are some small differences from the original. It is, however, effectively the same piece. Here is the original program note:
My second piece for Yale’s now-defunct Hindemith Ensemble was intentionally quite different from my first (Variations for an Odd Band). In place of the excited jumble of juxtaposed materials is a fairly homogenous, intensely lyrical, somewhat melancholy song. Instruments play either long, vocal lines or busy accompanimental textures, represented by the clarinet and piano, respectively; this dichotomy remains sharply defined throughout the piece. Writing for friends always feels relaxing and easy for me; similarly, the experience of playing music with friends is equal parts work, camaraderie, and pure fun. The title, Play it by Ear, refers to that feeling.