Thursday, February 10, 2011

ClarinetFest 2010 YouTube videos

For those of you who missed out on this past year's ClarinetFest  2010 in Austin, Texas, we have complied a playlist of YouTube videos of performances and interviews from the annual festival.  With concert and presentation schedules coinciding and overlapping, even those in attendance could not have possibly seen every performance. Fortunately, the selection of videos found on YouTube are a good representation of the types of activities that take place at the ClarinetFest.  You can watch an impromptu gathering of a trio performed by Julian Bliss, Larry Combs, and Ricardo Morales in one of the exhibition halls, or you can see a video of one of the nightly concerts featuring Sergio Bosi performing A. Gabucci's Aria and Scherzo for Clarinet and String Orchestra.  Below is an interview by Ricardo Morales discussing his experiences as the principal player for the New York Metropolitan Opera and principal clarinetist of the Philadelphia Orchestra and how each position requires different approaches to tone color and sensitivity of volume.

In our playlist you will also find another interview by Morales on his favorite orchestral excerpts and the ones he dreads the most.  Due to the multitude of performances and events, not every concert was held on the concert stage. In a video taken in one of the smaller venues, you can listen to Scott McAllister perform one of his own compositions, X Concerto.  It is always a treat to have the opportunity to hear a composer perform one of their own works, especially as one as challenging as this three-movement piece.

To check out the videos mentioned above and much more, click on the "ClarinetFest 2010" playlist on our Clarinet Cache channel at YouTube. 

This year's festival will be held on California State University-Northridge's campus in the sunny San Fernando Valley on August 3rd-7th, 2011.  For more information on the upcoming event visit the ClarinetFest 2011 page on the ICA website.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

West Point Band - Quintette 7

The West Point Band's newest chamber group is Quintette 7, created specifically to perform the music of Raymond Scott.  One of the greatest twentieth-century composers you may have never heard of, Scott created some of the most memorable and innovative music of the post-WWII era.  His music is perhaps best known for being adapted by Carl Stalling for the Looney Tunes cartoons, but he was also a pioneer in the field of electronic music, credited with creating the first synthesizer, the first polyphonic sequencer, and some of the first electronic music for television commercials. 

Of particular interest to clarinetists is the exciting jazz clarinet writing featured in Scott's compositions -- reminiscent of Duke Ellington but with the upbeat, catchy riffs and rhythmic propulsion that bring to mind the more recent composer Danny Elfman (of Pee-Wee's Big Adventure fame).  Clarinetist Don Byron recorded many Raymond Scott compositions on his 1996 album Bug Music.  Now, the West Point Band is continuing the Raymond Scott revival with Quintette 7, featuring clarinetist Kristen Mather.  Go here to learn more about Raymond Scott and Quintette 7.  Enjoy!