PIOTR MOSS (b.1949): D'un silence... for Clarinet and Orchestra, Loneliness for Alto and Orchestra.
Catalogue Number: 01Q061
Description: Moss' enigmatically titled clarinet concerto - he claims to have forgotten why he chose the title, beyond suggesting that in musical creation many things can emerge from silence - is full of event and atmosphere, and a bewilderingly eclectic range of styles, sometimes seamlessly blended and sometimes forced into uneasy collaboration. The orchestral part is so diverse and rich in material and texture that it frequently sounds like a concerto for orchestra with clarinet obbligato, which is not to suggest that the solo part is anything other than a starring role, and highly virtuosic and demanding. Many sections seem to have a tonal basis, some neo-romantic, some neo-impressionistic, and in a lushly melodic slow central section featuring a prominent saxophone part, something of the popular appeal of film music. But throughout, abrupt juxtapositions of quarter-tone harmonies and unusual timbres from extended instrumental techniques and the expanded percussion battery render the idiom ambiguous and unsettling, an impression borne out by the far from triumphant finale, in which the soloist switches to bass clarinet. There is a surreal scherzo, combining nightmarishly distorted waltz and oberek rhythms, while the soloist plays in a kind of demented klezmer style. The whole suggests a score to a very noir-ish movie, though there is no apparent programme or linear narrative. Loneliness sets poems of e.e. cummings, their precise, crystalline shards of imagery matched by clear, open chamber-music textures drawn from the resources of a very large orchestra and a range of idioms from popular neoromanticism to sonorism and extended techniques; their evocations of universal everyday experience reflected in fleeting allusions to musical Americana - jazz, blues, marching bands - the soundtrack of ordinary lives rendered into poetry. Texts included (sung in English). Jean-Marc Fessard (clarinet), Jadwiga Rappé (alto), Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra Katowice; Michal Klauza, Jerzy Maksymiuk (Loneliness).