for Cello and Strings with Clarinet
by Rick Sowash
Premiered at Carnegie Hall on April 29, 2007.
Rick's newest major work, written written for the Bulgarian-American
cellist Kalin Ivanov, reconciles some of the disparate musical
gestures of America and Europe. The music blends American
hymnody and blues scales with European fugues, forms and
The clarinet is the only black instrument, representing
the African-American jazz/blues tradition, here joyfully,
reverently, even humorously reconciled. The clarinet is a
trickster at times, a rival to the solo cello.
The final movement
opens with a “ska” theme,
adapted from a song written by my son Chap for his ska band,
The work begins and ends in reverence as if to say: Joyfulness
is funny and fun-loving but also, finally, sacred.
opposites presented in the work -- opposites of mood, style,
key, genre, the clash of the solo cello and his rival, the
clarinet -- are reconciled at last and the concerto ends
with quiet dignity.