I have been working feverishly on a flute and clarinet duet for The Ardente Duo consisting of Cassandra Rondinelli-Eisenreich, flute and Danielle Woolery, clarinet. Cassandra and Danielle will be producing a CD of my music for flute and clarinet and I adapted my Suite for Two Saxophones for them as well as turning my composition "Hep Cats", that was originally written for solo clarinet, into a duet.
The Suite adaption was a fairly simple process of adjusting ranges as both parts had interesting and melodic material. My biggest challenge was deciding which register to write the clarinet and settled on low register for some of the movements and high register for the others. I think I achieved a nice balance as well as variety. I have not posted the score and sound file because there is not much to illustrate.
Hep Cats was originally composed during 2008 for a clarinetist who was planning a CD of solo clarinet compositions. Since 2008, the clarinetist's plans changed and he withdrew from the project. I thought that this piece could be made into a nice duet. If you would like to read my blog about composing the solo clarinet version, please go to the May 2008 entries. That has a discussion of the musical ideas. In this discussion, I'll focus on the duet adaption.
Here is an excerpt from the program notes. The title is a double entendre first suggesting the jazz influences and second being a musical portrait of felines. The first movement is called “Siamese” and was written in memory of my cat, Siegfried, who was part Siamese. It is an upbeat, swing movement and captures the joy Siegfried brought my wife and myself. “Angora” is the title of the second movement and is moody, bluesy, and mysterious. The last movement, “Tom” is in a rock style and is aggressive.
I added a four measure clarinet introduction to the first movement which then becomes the accompaniment for the flute line. The introduction is actually the only added part to the entire piece. To create a duet part, I looked for motives that came from the existing music to create the duet lines. I was challenged by how to divide the solo material between the two instruments. I tried to find logical places to split the line and then I created the duet line to go with it. There are times where the solo line stands by itself without any accompaniment. Other times the duet part creates a counterpoint and occasionally a canon. Sometimes it moves in rhythmic unison and creates a harmony line. I was pleased with the variety of textures that are used in the duet version.
To see and hear what I have discussed, go to http://www.cooppress.net/Hep_Cats_Duet_blog.html. You will be viewing a transposed score.
As always, your comments are appreciated.