Tall Poppies


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 TP (1-901)


A Day in the Life of a Clarinet

Peter Jenkin (clarinets)

$23   (Australian dollars)


buy at: AMC - Buywell - iTunes

Daniel Herscovitch (piano)
Lisa Moore (piano)
Roger Dean (piano, sampler)
David Pereira (cello)
Anita Beuthien (piano accordion)

A showcase for the clarinet in its many modern guises, this CD presents Peter Jenkin equally at home with Alban Berg, multi-tracked Bach, klezma, tango, jazz and electronics.

Richard VellaTango
Peter Jenkin (clarinet)
Daniel Herscovitch (piano)
Iannis XenakisCharisma
Peter Jenkin (clarinet)
David Pereira (cello)
J.S. Bach
arr. P.Jenkin
Ricercar a 6 from The Musical Offering
Peter Jenkin (4 clarinets, 2 bass clarinets)
Alban BergFour Pieces, op. 5
Peter Jenkin (clarinet)
Lisa Moore (piano)
Peter Jenkin (clarinet)
Anita Beuthien (piano accordion)
Luciano BerioSequenza IX
Peter Jenkin (clarinet)
Rik RueFrom Three Nocturnal Windows
Peter Jenkin (clarinet)
Roger Dean (sampler)
Rik Rue (tape)
Larry SitskyVartarun
Peter Jenkin (clarinet)
Roger DeanBlues Multiple
Peter Jenkin (clarinet)
Roger Dean (piano)
Martin Wesley-SmithFor Clarinet & Tape
Peter Jenkin (clarinet)


Recently released on the Tall Poppies label, this CD offers an unusual selection of compositions for clarinet.

Tango, composed by Australian Richard Vella for clarinet and piano, is a fun composition. Based on a set of improvisations by Peter Jenkins and the composer. Jenkins ably exhibits the versatility of the clarinet with many contemporary techniques such as glissandi and multiphonics. The composition is very flamboyant in its exploration of the different sound and rhythmic textures of the clarinet.

Charisma by lannis Xenakis, is another contemporary composition, demonstrating the diverse sound capabilities of both clarinet and cello. The clarinet uses multiphonics and quarter tones, whilst drawing on the extremes of boith its registers to complement the cello with its various scraping sounds and double-stopped quarter tones. Particularly effective are the slow glissandi and multi phonies, in creating an eerie sonic soundscape of space age music.

As Homer is quoted in the notes accompanying this CD: "then the soul like smoke moved into the earth, grinding".

Bach’s Ricercare a 6 from Musikalisches Opfer, BWV 1079 is a pleasant contrast to the two previous selections. It is a multitracked recording of six individual clarinets (four Bb and two bass) aimed at creating a polyphonic effect. The blend of sound produced is not unlike a pipe organ.

Alban Berg’s Four Pieces, op. 5 covers a diversity of musical emotions, from wistful and melancholy in the first Piece to frivolous and flighty in the third. The concluding section is almost funereal in its languidness. The Pieces are a showpiece of advances in sound production techniques for the clarinet, characterised by the use of echo tones and flutter tonguing.

Bulgar Freylekhs is a dramatic transition from the contemporarism
of Berg into the folk music of Eastern Europe. Accompanied by
piano accordian, Jenkins exhibits his versatility with slippery glissandi and a bright and lively tone.

Sequenza IX by Luciano Berio is a solo piece originally written for real time accompaniment by computer. The composition involves repeated melodic figures punctuating moments of silence in an ever increasing quantity of notes and intensity.

From Three Nocturnal Windows, written by Rik Rue for bass clarinet, keyboard smapler, and tape, was especially prepared for this CD from a recorded performance of the complete work.

The composition rellects the musical tapestry of the Australian bush. It opens with a cacophony of sounds of the rainforest - water, birds, insects - permeated by the eerie and ethereal voice of the clarinet to blend with these environmental snippets.

Larry Sitsky"s composition, Vartarun for solo clarinet, is part of a series of works for solo wind and brass instruments, composed in 1984. Written for New Zealand clarinettist Murray Khouri, Vartarun explores various melodic and rhythmical aspects of Armenian folk music. Each movement exemplifies an aspect of the versatility of the clarinet - the change in the tonal characteristics of a note at different volumes; the expressiveness of the instrument with a simple melodic line; and the fluidity of the instrument.

Larry Sitsky is well-known in Australia for his wealth of contemporary compositions, and has been a lecturer at the Canberra School of Music since 1966.

Blues Multiple for clarinet and piano by Roger Dean, is a tuneful blues in D major, exploring both harmonic and rhythmic progressions. Th composition includes improvised solos for the clarinet, and most of the piano part is improvised. The composition becomes increasingly complex both rhythmically and harmonically. Roger Dean has composed and recorded numerous works for chamber and improvisation groups.

Australian Martin Wesley-Smith’s For Clarinet and Tape is a refreshing and clever foray into the realms of electronic music. The clarinet blends with its electronic counterpart in an intricate melodic dialogue, which is both entertaining and musically satisfying.

Peter Jenkins has assembled an unusual collection of contemporary works for clarinet on this CD. His performances are masterful and his versatility is entertaining. It is both refreshing and educational to see such a selection, and the variety proferred is guaranteed to appeal to all tastes.

Salli Chmura
Queensland Clarinet and Saxophone Society, May 1997

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 TP (1-901)



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