Evan Johnson had already written for the clarinet in a solo context well before we met – this is his third piece for solo clarinet, or his fourth if we include a seven-second piece he wrote to accompany the well-known early film generally known as ‚Fred Ott’s Sneeze‘. This time, though, the specific instrument involved is not such a familiar object. Rather than opting for a clarinet we might normally meet with in a typical new music ensemble context, we chose a very specific variety of historical clarinet: a nine-key basset clarinet in A, the instrument for which the Quintet and Concerto by Mozart were conceived. Evan’s previous clarinet music does not delve so deeply into the realm of specific techniques but for this piece we corresponded in detail on various possibilities that the historical instrument offers – logically enough, since there would be little point writing for such a specific (and relatively rare) instrument without employing its specific capabilities. So we exchanged fingering charts, colour fingerings, multiphonics, sound recordings over several months while Evan’s work was in progress – he lives quite some distance from Köln but we were able to meet on some of his trips to Europe over the working period and email took care of the rest.
Monday Concert | Mozart, Johnson, Feldman
15th February 2016, 8 pm at Studio of Ensemble Musikfabrik
Introduction at 7.30 pm with Carl Rosman and composer Evan Johnson
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart | Quintett für Klarinette und Streicher KV 581 (1789)
Evan Johnson | indolentiae ars, a medium to be kept (2015) | for historical basset clarinet solo
commissioned by Ensemble Musikfabrik the North Rhine-Westfalia Ministry for Families, Children, Youth, Culture and Sports
Morton Feldman | Clarinet and string quartet (1983)
Carl Rosman is curating this concert.