The Clarinet Concerto was composed for the Georgia Tech Chamber Orchestra and inaugurates a fruitful collaboration with conductor Chaowen Ting.
The concerto pays homage to clarinet, an agile and versatile instrument, that can play from the faintest pianissimo to the most forceful fortissimo, and handle many beautiful changes in articulation and color.
The Concerto opens with a solo of the clarinet, that states the thematic materials used in the score and ends with a cadenza that prepares the Allegro, where the full orchestra accompanies the soloist with a tight rhythmic punctuation. A second cadenza is performed by the clarinet together with the first cello, and is followed by a dialogue with the xylophone. The Largo of the middle section features an area of suspension, with p to ppp sections of the strings, interrupted by a central aleatoric section and a new cadenza of the soloist. The last part, Allegro assai, re-proposes the thematic materials in the form of a fugato and culminates in a virtuoso finale that forces the soloist to a fff in the highest range of the instrument. Percussion play an important role in the score, especially the xylophone, engaged in many passages in a vivacious and ironic interaction with the solo player.