Composed for Maureen Hurd Hause and premiered by her at the 2020 Henri Selmer Paris Summer Academy, May 28, 2020.
Evening Dance for Bb clarinet and piano was inspired by North Indian classical music, in particular the idea of different rāgas being associated with different times of the day. From Wiki: “In the 13th century, Sarngadeva….associated pure and simple rāgas to early morning, mixed and more complex rāgas to late morning, skillful rāgas to noon, love-themed and passionate rāgas to evening, and universal rāgas to night.” Having no grounding or claim to compose music that is strictly Indian or raga-based, I changed the title-theme from “raga” to “dance,” however the mood to me is the same, translated into my personal voice. A mood of passion and the lengthening shadows of sunset permeates. The opening section, which recurs two more times, rondo-like, charts a tight, angular, and pungent harmonic space – the “raga” as it were. A middle foray into a rhythmically punchy, albeit tonal, area offers contrast. The final section puts the two instruments into different, mixed time signatures – the piano in isorhythm and the clarinet free – along a common tonal scale (Eb dorian). It softens the rhythmic activity without simplifying it, and “eases down the sun,” bringing the music to its final repose.
Bb Clarinet and Piano