Clarinet in Bb
Janky at times, energetic at others, Solo de Concours will rouse the heart of any audience. Its thoughtful writing and exploratory harmonies will challenge any clarinetist looking for a medium to medium-advanced work without the commitment of a longer piece.
Solo de Concours was written in 2020 for the 2nd annual Fred Fox School of Music
Morceau de concours; a woodwind competition modeled after the Paris Conservatory’s historic Premiere Prix. Unfortunately, due to the the COVID-19 pandemic shutting down schools, the contest did not take place as initially planned. Instead, it became a smaller studio-wide competition where the performers would submit a recording of themselves playing alongside a MIDI mockup of the accompaniment instead of a live pianist.
As a clarinetist, much of the repertoire I play comes from the Paris Conservatory competition; staples of the repertoire such as Debussy’s Premiere Rhapsody and Andre Messager’s and Henri Rabaud’s Solo de Concours were written for this competition. In this piece, I pay homage to the Paris tradition through the structure. It is very sectional, and each section asks a different challenge of the player: Lyricism, technical proficiency, and rhythmic integrity. However, the harmonic and melodic characteristics of the piece are very distinctly my own. When I first showed it to my professor, Dr. Kay He, her first comment was “This is very you.”