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Reconciliation (Bass Clarinet and Piano)

Sonata for Bass Clarinet and Piano

Duration: c. 15.

I. Sonata of Child-like Wonder, II. Chorale of Exclusion, III. Reconciliaton

Performance video (yours truly, bass clarinet, and Eileen Snyder, piano)



Reconciling with something or someone you used to love is a pretty tough journey sometimes. I experienced this with the bass clarinet, hence my reason for composing this sonata. When I first tried out the instrument in high school, I was immediately enamored and ended up switching in order to perform it in my high school’s top band. The bass clarinet has always been a natural affinity for me and I, unfortunately, lost that relationship with it during my undergraduate degree. I will not explain the circumstances but they resulted in a really confusing and unhealthy relationship with the instrument. In the meantime, my Bb and contrabass playing were skyrocketing and I never understood why that never carried over to bass. Then I started at Michigan State University where my band director and peers noticed my skill and passion for low clarinets and accordingly placed me on those parts. That was part of the affirmation I needed to continue to get better. The other part was meeting the low clarinet world through social media and in person, and seeing how music and performances for low clarinets are absolutely flourishing. Together, these forces around me led me to rediscover my love for playing the bass clarinet. The Sonata follows this journey from my “child-like wonder” at discovering how much the bass clarinet can do and its sound, then moving into a chorale that expresses the feeling of “exclusion” from playing the instrument. This dies away into “Reconciliation” where determination ensues and passion returns in the form of the first movement theme, in a different mode. The piece ends with affection for the lowest note on the bass clarinet, low C.

Reconciliation (Bass Clarinet and Piano)

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