Of Clarinet, Singing and Polyphony

Since my arrival at Terceira island, I started to play clarinet again. Since I left Terceira (in 2006) I haven’t played it with the desirable frequency. It’s great to “remember” some of the repertoire that I studied at the Conservatory: Krommer’s Concerto Op. 36, Weber and Debussy, among others. I’m a big fan of late 18th-century clarinet repertoire. The majority of clarinettists tend to mid-19th- and 20th-century works but I generally prefer those post-mozartian works. This might be a more musicologist or a historical-performance-practice-fan approach rather than a clarinettist but, the music of this period combines a very cantabile style with some technical passages (don’t forget the clarinets used in late 18th-century music), and I prefer it to the virtuoso-style 19th-century music, in which the instrumentalist has to play “1.000 notes per minute”.

I’m also playing in a wind band at Terceira. One of my best friends is the conductor of this band and is putting together a interesting concert with some works by Jacob de Haan and other related works, which has been a great experience so far.

One of my projects for the next months is with an amateur choir. They are planning to perform Mozart’s Krönungs-Messe K 317. It’s not polyphony but still, it is a wonderful musical work and, since it will be the first time I’m performing this mass, it will certainly be a fantastic experience. I must say that I really miss singing polyphony. I miss those “harmonious” melodic lines, in my opinion, the essence of what the human voice can achieve. I have dedicated myself to the study of how this music works: the important relation of music-text, the tempus.


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