HILL, CHARLES

RONDO SEMPLICE

Instrumentation: Clarinet and Piano

Publisher: Gordon V. Thompson

Date: 1968 (published)

Recording : New for Now Vol. 2 Clarinet - Dominion S-69004 performed by Avrahm Galper

Musical Source: Original

Duration: 3:10

Range:

Level: Medium Easy

Musical Features of the Repertoire

 

This rondo, written in a traditional, classical style, is musically derived from its beautiful song-like melody. Its long lines, based on triadic shapes, flow continuously throughout each section. The tempo is marked andante, and expressiveness is allowed due to the many poco ritards at important phrase endings. The A flat major tonality journeys into E flat major and F minor during the contrasting sections. The accompaniment supports the legato clarinet line in a simple chordal style. The importance of the melody is established and maintained by the piano’s melodic introduction and interludes. Thus the simple elegance of the piece and the value of the work is enhanced.

 

Technical Challenges of the Clarinet Part

 

One of the more challenging aspects of this piece is breath control. The phrases are, generally, two measures in length which demands more air because of the moderate tempo. There is one section, in G minor, which employs staccato tonguing. This also requires more air, especially as it is in the chalumeau register. There is movement around the lower break in the rondo theme and in other melodic passages.

e.g.

 

The player must maintain a consistent air stream in order to execute these lines in the legato style. Finger co-ordination is challenging because of the triadic nature of the melodies. Co-ordination of fingers is also important for the leaps that are greater than a fourth. Intonation may be harder to control, particularly around the throat notes, because of the disjunct style of the lines. Securing clear mellow tone colour may be more difficult in the clarion register. The embouchure must remain focussed in order to keep the sound from becoming too bright or shrill. This is vital when there are wider, upward leaps into the higher clarion register.

 

Use of the Musical Qualities of the Clarinet

 

The lyrical quality of the clarinet is explored mainly throughout the clarion register. The contrasting sections, within the rondo, are intensified with differing dynamic levels. The clear, mellow tone expresses the melody through a continuous legato style which is the essence of the work.

 

Benefits to the Student

 

The melodic style of this piece lends itself to expressive interpretation. This is a valuable skill for the student to learn in a musically accessible way. Studying this music, and learning to perform it as a solo, would be rewarding.

 

 

 

KYMLICKA, MILAN

TWO DANCES

Instrumentation: Clarinet and Piano

Publisher: Leeds Music Ltd.

Date: 1970 (published)

Recording: New for Now Vol. 2 Clarinet - Dominion S-69004 (Avrahm Galper)

Musical Source: Original

Duration: 2:40

Range:

 Minuet:

 

 Gigue:

 

Level: Medium Easy

Musical Features of the Repertoire

 

The Minuet is written in ternary form with a light triple meter. In the A sections, the phrasing is interrupted by one measure of a piano interjection intime. The Gigue, written intime, is a busy sounding piece consisting of continuouspatterns. The piano maintains this style by interplaying with the clarinet line. In the Minuet, the accompaniment helps to create the light, detached style and embellishes the melodic line. Both dances modulate between C major and D major respectively and their relative minor keys. Other tonalities are used briefly. While the Minuet has a very melodic style featuring triadic themes, the Gigue emphasizes the idea of an interval of a second in almost every pattern.

 

Technical Challenges of the Clarinet Part

 

Each dance exhibits its own difficulty for the player. The Minuet demands staccato tonguing which requires more air. In the Gigue, the articulation is mainly legato. However, the faster tempo in the Gigue, and the keys involved, create problems for fingering. The main tonalities of D major and B minor in the clarinet part require the use of several clarinet keys, particularly around the lower break. These patterns need full air support to maintain the smooth line. Meticulous finger co-ordination is required because of the many triadic figures. The Minuet has a disjunct style featuring various intervallic leaps. The speed and the length of the line demand a steady embouchure and quick finger movements. Both dances feature much movement around the lower break, with frequent arpeggiated figures. These require careful attention to intonation as an even, scalar balance is difficult to maintain in this area of the clarinet.

e.g.

The main tonality of the Gigue creates a brighter clarinet tone which must be kept mellow for the style of the piece. In the Minuet, care is needed to keep the tone from becoming piercing in the louder sections which are played in the clarion register.

 

Use of the Musical Qualities of the Clarinet

 

As a unit these dances display certain musical features of the clarinet. Dynamic contrasts create interest in the Minuet as each of the three sections has its own general dynamic range, moving from mf to pp to f. The Gigue opens with a brief unaccompanied section for clarinet, allowing the instrument to introduce and project the contrasting nature of this second piece. The Minuet uses an accented and detached style of articulation while the Gigue employs smooth finger movement to ensure that the busy driving rhythm is felt.

 

Benefits to the Student

 

The performance of these two dances enables the student to deal with contrasting styles and a piano accompaniment which is complicated and intricately woven with the clarinet line. Playing the solo at the start of the Gigue requires the student to set the tempo and style of the dance and to play confidently.

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