Double Concerto for Clarinet, Alt Saxophone and Orchestra - Hanuš Bartoň

“When the interpreters asked with to write Double Concerto for Clarinet, Alt Saxophone and Orchestra, it was an opportunity for me to go back to this kind of concertante music after a long time. Two seemingly close solo instruments turned out to be strong “individualities“ during my work. Although they belong to one family of instruments, they are distinctive enough to show their own point of view.

They butt in, they argue, they shout each other down and they are not able to find a compromise. When they try, it does not end well. Each of them plays the melody in its own way; they overtake each other and then again catch up with each other. The orchestra mostly does not notice the bickering of the solos since it is busy with its inner disagreements over the rhythm and dynamics. Although they all agree on some kinds of dynamic ligatures and on keeping the rhythmical pulse, each group of instruments have different expectations. Various alliances appear in the orchestra; they do not last long though. The instruments behave opportunistically and they often “desert“ their alliance to the opponent. Sometimes the soloists manage to distract the orchestra from the rifts. In these infrequent moments it seems that mutual respect and empathy will prevail.

The only thing that they can all willy-nilly agree on is harmony. Nobody, not even the soloists, is able to impose his or her harmonic vision on others. Those times are gone when it was enough to choose right accords and accompany a melody that seemed to be the ideal one. Therefore all the participants better choose to submit to a prearranged plan of harmonies. Although the harmony is taboo, sometimes somebody, mostly soloists, incite provocation in terms of micro intervals or so called multiphonics. The rebels build their self-esteem and the others better pretend not to hear that. There is nothing to be afraid of. The provocations are harmless and they are only result of the harmonic “self-movement“. The provocateurs do not realize it; they feel “free“.”

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Other compositions by Hanuš Bartoň published in Czech Radio:
Passing of Time
Scattering - Reintegration for Chamber Orchestra
Six Old-fashioned Miniatures
Trio for Clarinet, Viola and Piano