by Patrick J. Burns (Band: 4+, Soloist: 5, 10:15)
Rhapsody for Solo Clarinet and Band was commissioned by the New Jersey City University Consortium for New Music, led by Professor Joseph D’Auguste, clarinet professor at NJCU. The premiere performances were given in November and December 2015 by the NJCU Symphony of Winds and Percussion under the direction of the composer and with Professor D’Auguste as soloist. The work is consists of one large movement with three contiguous sections following a brief introduction: Comodo – Lirico – Meccanico. The character of each section is quite different, one from another, but so is the compositional style and harmonic vocabulary. Each movement explores various traits of the clarinet’s “personality”, if you will – and affords the soloist ample opportunity to be expressive in both highly technical and sweepingly lyric passages throughout virtually the entire range of the instrument. The ensemble itself maintains a very active role throughout, and is often on equal footing with the soloist in terms of the evolution of the piece.