So a little background on this: I wrote this piece in honor of my sister, Gretchen. She's someone who endured so much during her time at Tennessee Tech University, specifically during her struggle to change her major from Vocal Music Education to Vocal Music Performance. It took Gretchen three attempts to pass her Vocal Performance barrier, and she never gave up no matter what. Even when she did her hearing for her Senior Recital, the faculty failed her the first time, and she still didn't give up. She passed the second time, did her Senior Recital, and graduated in May. This piece symbolizes Gretchen's journey when she fought to change her major, from the low point of her first attempt all the way up to the moment of triumph and relief at her third and final attempt. It was premiered back in March and I figured it would be a good first piece to share on here. I'm including a PDF of the score and a Finale audio file below. Hope you enjoy!

Audio

Score

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  • Nice little clarinet quartet!  I can't help wondering, though, if it would be better scored for a vocal choir, with words... I mean, there's nothing obviously wrong with it, the counterpoint is quite textbook-conformant, the instruments are all written in-range (as far as I can tell from a cursory glance at the score), but as a concert piece, I'm having a hard time finding much interest in it.  Perhaps, being an indifferent external observer, I'm failing to "get" the emotional significance the music is trying to convey.

    <tongue-in-cheek> Now perhaps if this were written as a fugue, there may have been more forward momentum... ;-) </tongue-in-cheek> (Don't mind me, I'm the resident fugue maniac, I just can't help seeing everything from fugue-colored lenses.)

  •  very odd scoring -- I wouldn't have guessed it was all supposed to be clarinets if I hadn't looked at the score. That aside, I found it quite sweet as well if quite conventional. Perhaps indeed it would work better as a string quartet or choral arrangement. Or with flute, oboe and bassoon for more colour.

  • Hi Alison, welcome to CF.  This work is well done and conventional but that's a good thing.  The themes are familiar but I can't place them off the top of my head.  I'm not sure that the progression here evokes struggle leading to triumph but I think that Gretchen should be proud of both her accomplishment and feel honored by your tribute so I think you have done what you set out to do, good work!  I'll bet most of us have never had this distinction.

    The suggestions to rescore this are good and you may want to consider that but I'll bet there are academic situtations where an instructor could make good use of a work for an intermediate clarinet ensemble so this might be publishable as is.  It's as good as some of the Klose stuff IMHO.

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