for clarinet & accordion
clarinet & piano
- composition date: 2015/2017 | adap. 2018 for clar. & pno.
- duration: ca. 12:30 min. (2’+ 4’30”+ 4’+ 2’30”)
I – Ecstatic
II – Cadenzas
III – Improviso
IV – Funky
- partial premieres:
25/July/2015 | Madrid/Spain, Centro Cultural Conde Duque | (Des)Concertante Duo [Sérgio Neves/ clarinet; Carisa Marcelino/ accordion] — only Funky
20/February/2018 | Lisbon/Portugal, Ancient Art National Museum | Yin Yang duo (Inês Arede/ clarinet; Catarina Silva/ accordion) — only Ecstatic
The story of the 4 INVENTIONS begins in a reverse way. In 2015, my friend and fellow clarinettist Sérgio Neves, with whom I have collaborated on several projects over the years, challenged me to write a miniature for clarinet and accordion duet, intended for himself and the accordionist Carisa Marcelino to premiere at the ClarinetFest’2015 (World Clarinet Congress) in Madrid, Spain. The result then was Funky miniature, but soon the idea struck me that I should develop my contribution to this so very unusual instrumental group. Hence, in 2017, after listening the talented students of the University of Aveiro Inês Arede (clarinet) and Catarina Silva (accordion) playing so beautifully my Funky miniature, I decided to return to the work and finally extended it by adding three new movements: Ecstatic, Cadenzas and Improviso. In fact, and making full meaning of the story in reverse, the order of composition of these three new movements was exactly the inverse (Improviso → Cadenzas → Ecstatic), and the original Funky miniature, now renamed simply as Funky, took its place as the fourth and last movement of the cycle.
Each of these four pieces belongs to its own world and creates its own particular atmosphere. From the rhythmic energy of Ecstatic to the metrical plasticity of Funky, through the staticity of Cadenzas or the introspection of Improviso, one and each of these miniatures seeks its own inner life, constituting a small musical fresco with its own story and intrinsic peculiarities. Nevertheless, three concerns permeated the conception of the whole: 1) to give prominent moments to the clarinet; 2) to give prominent moments to the accordion; 3) to create moments of dialogue and interaction between the two instruments. Writing for the accordion, with its almost infinite possibilities, was at the same time frightening (what to do with all that array of manuals?!) but also challenging! However, despite all the explanations, this remains pure, abstract music that should be enjoyed for the simple pleasure of listening.
The sequence proposed by the author (I – Ecstatic; II – Cadenzas; III – Improviso; IV – Funky) is merely indicative. Since each of the movements is an autonomous and self-sufficient piece of music in itself, it can be performed independently, coupled with any other(s) movement(s), or even with all of them in a different order than suggested here, at the choice of the performers, and taking into consideration the specifics and uniqueness of each concert or recital.
In 2018, at the request of my colleagues and friends Victor Pereira (clarinet) and Vítor Pinho (piano), I made an adaptation of this work for clarinet and piano, for them to present in a recital at Casa da Música (Porto). This reworking required a careful reconfiguration of the accordion part for the specifics of the piano, and although the musical content remained unchanged, this adaptation required also some minor retouching of the clarinet part, in order to preserve the organic coherence of the musical discourse in this new instrumental format.
Luís Carvalho (2018)
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