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Serbian Chant


Collateral Damage for Clarinet and Orchestra (2000)

A Concerto for Bb Clarinet and Orchestra

LOOK-Mvt. I - A Bosnian Rhapsody (excerpt).pdf
LOOK-Mvt. II Funeral for a Rock Star (excerpt).pdf
LOOK-Mvt. III Serbian Hoedown (excerpt).pdf
LISTEN- Mvt I.  A Bosnian Rhapsody.mp3
LISTEN- Mvt II. Funeral for a Rock Star.mp3
LISTEN- Mvt III. Serbian Hoedown.mp3

(Clarinetist Ashraf Attalla with the Odessa Symphony (Ukraine), Richard Prior conducting)
8.5x14 score

for parts/rental 

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A standard three movement concerto for Solo Clarinet and Orchestra 2222/4331/3perc/timp/Strings.

I. A Bosnian Rhapsody

II. Funeral for a Rock Star

III. Serbian Hoedown (The bombs fly but the band plays on)

Total duration of the work is about 20 minutes.

Bearing the title "Collateral Damage," the Concerto for Clarinet and Orchestra was composed for clarinetist and former colleague Håkan Rosengren.  It was completed over a six week period during the months of February and March of 2000 and was premiered by Peter Wright (Principal Clarinetist) and the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra (Fabio Machetti, Conductor) on March 3 & 4, 2005 at the Times-Union Performing Arts Hall in Jacksonville, Florida.  The work was also performed by Frank Cohen and the Cleveland Orchestra in July, 2005 at Blossom Music Pavillion.

The 20 minute work is somewhat eclectic and post modern in style and follows the traditional three movement form.  The faster outer movements are a musical blend of both contemporary classical and Eastern European folk idioms.  By contrast, the slower middle movement incorporates musical elements that characterize some of the popular music of the late 20th century.   Inspired largely by the tragic events which surrounded the break-up of the former Yugoslavia during the 1990's, the work is dedicated to the civilian victims of all modern wars.

The opening movement is titled "A Bosnian Rhapsody" and is the longest and structurally the most complex of the three movements.  It is built on two contrasting themes, one faster and the other much slower, each set in tonalities that are a semi-tone apart.  These original themes incorporate harmonic and melodic idioms commonly found in the music of the balkans and they give the opening movement its distinctive ethnic flavor.   Following a powerful climax each of these themes is briefly reprised.  This gives way to a more introspective and subdued but expressive cadenza which ends the first movement.

The second movement features the clarinet spinning out a continuously evolving and expanding melody over a series of recurring but shifting harmonic patterns.  The title "Funeral for a Rock Star" is a concise description of the imagery and emotion that the music seeks to convey.    The seemingly improvisatory and unrestrained clarinet solo evokes the image of a soul freely born aloft, while the heavy, plodding undercurrent of low brass and strings reveals a procession of loved ones bearing the weight of a casket and a profound grief whose consolation lies somewhere between memory and hope.

The rousing and spirited finale "Serbian Hoedown" (The bombs fly but the band plays on) takes its inspiration from those men and women who would congregate on the bridges during the bombing raids in Serbia in the spring of 1999.  They often passed their time with defiant  speeches and traditional folk singing and dancing in the hope that the massive structure - which they depended on for their general livelihood and security - would not be targeted and destroyed.   Here the clarinet, performing melodic material steeped in Serbian folk-dance idioms, seems to lead the orchestra through a series of climaxes and mishaps (even reviving the ensemble at one point) as melodic materials first presented by the solo clarinet are taken up by the accompanying ensemble.


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