I was never a big fan of the clarinet. In high school, the clarinet players in my school put off an unattractive sound: it was either screechy or monotone. Then I came to Queens College and met my dear friend David Valbuena. From his participation in orchestra and Balkan ensemble I learned that the sound of the clarinet is not suppose to sound screechy. His playing transformed the clarinet for me into this versatile instrument with warm tones. He is truly the best clarinet player I know and therefore I had to go check out his recital this past Friday.
It was awesome. My favorite pieces were a Sonata for clarinet and piano by Camille Saint-Saens (French composer from the Romantic period) and the Sonatina for clarinet and piano by Joseph Horovitz (a contemporary British composer). The Saint-Saens was longing and it was so legato, it made me melt. The 3rd movement of the Horovitz was jazzy and exciting. It was a great piece to end with. I’m so glad I was introduced to these fabulous clarinet pieces. I have now arranged a gypsy folk tune for David to play on the clarinet, I know he’ll do a great job.
Check out the Saint-Saens:
And if the Saint-Saens is not your thing, well I’m sure the Horovitz will at least make you move a little: