ALICE ÉTUDES CLARINET QUINTET
We are excited to add a new concert composition to the repertoire of classical clarinet quintets, and to contribute to the works inspired by the magical world of Lewis Carroll's Alice stories.
About the composition:
Alice Études is a 25 minute long, 7 movement composition written for the Farallon Quintet. Each movement is inspired by a quote from Lewis Carroll’s books: ‘Alice in Wonderland’ and ‘Through The Looking Glass’. From scenes like experiencing time in slow pace while falling really fast, through the combinatorics problem of changing seats around a circular table while having no tea in your cups, to the challenge of living backwards and remembering forwards, I wanted to create my own musical Alice World. All movements deal with one, two or tops three musical ideas making the composition a collection of étude-like pieces. The last of the seven études called ‘Waking’ is a variation on the first one entitled ‘Down the Rabbit Hole’ creating a frame to this dream world of my clarinet quintet. Three movements are dedicated to three classical-contemporary composers whose oeuvres were heavily influenced by these two books of Carroll as well: György Liget, David del Tredici and Unsuk Chin. As an inclusive and somewhat provocative gesture I composed my own take on a song by Taylor Swift in the movement ‘Shaking’. We all coexist in Wonderland regardless of style and genre.‘Alice’ connects us all.
1. Down the Rabbit Hole - homage to György Ligeti
[Either the well was very deep, or she fell very slowly, for she had plenty of time as she went down to look about her and to wonder what was going to happen next.]
2. The Pool of Tears - homage to David Del Tredici
[However, she soon made out that she was in the pool of tears which she had wept when she was nine feet high. `I wish I hadn't cried so much!' said Alice, as she swam about, trying to find her way out. `I shall be punished for it now, I suppose, by being drowned in my own tears! That WILL be a queer thing, to be sure! However, everything is queer today.’]
3. A Mad Tea Party
[`I want a clean cup,' interrupted the Hatter: `let's all move one place on.’ He moved on as he spoke, and the Dormouse followed him: the March Hare moved into the Dormouse's place, and Alice rather unwillingly took the place of the March Hare. The Hatter was the only one who got any advantage from the change: and Alice was a good deal worse off than before, as the March Hare had just upset the milk-jug into his plate.]
4. Through the Looking Glass - homage to Unsuk Chin
[Let’s pretend the glass has got all soft like gauze, so that we can get through. Why, it's turning into a sort of mist now, I declare! It'll be easy enough to get through—' She was up on the chimney-piece while she said this, though she hardly knew how she had got there. And certainly the glass was beginning to melt away, just like a bright silvery mist. In another moment Alice was through the glass, and had jumped lightly down into the Looking-glass room.]
5. Wool and Water [‘That's the effect of living backwards,' the Queen said kindly: 'it always makes one a little giddy at first—‘ 'Living backwards!' Alice repeated in great astonishment. 'I never heard of such a thing!’ '—but there's one great advantage in it, that one's memory works both ways.’ 'I'm sure mine only works one way,' Alice remarked. 'I can't remember things before they happen.’ 'It's a poor sort of memory that only works backwards,' the Queen remarked.]
6. Shaking - on a Taylor Swift song
[She took her off the table as she spoke, and shook her backwards and forwards with all her might. The Red Queen made no resistance whatever; only her face grew very small, and her eyes got large and green: and still, as Alice went on shaking her, she kept on growing shorter—and fatter—and softer—and rounder—and—]
7. Waking - homage to Tom Waits
[—and it really was a kitten, after all.]
Best regards Gregory
The Farallon Quintet and I would like to thank you again for your generous contribution to the “Alice Etudes” project. Before we close our crowd funding campaign we have to tell you about the “perfect storm” surrounding the World Premiere of “Alice Etudes”. Unfortunately our wonderful clarinetist, Natalie Parker had to cancel the concert due to death in her family. We have secured the participation of Jose Gonzales Granero, principal clarinetist of the San Francisco Opera who has agreed to step in last minute. Due to the circumstances Alice Etudes is getting a partial premiere this time, awaiting a full premiere in the near future. In the meantime, due to inclement weather in Portland, Oregon and won’t be able to make it to San Francisco this time. You might have seen the news already, Portland has received 10-12 inches of snow and the governor of Oregon declared a state of emergency. To make sure that I fulfill our promise to You of receiving a recording of the new piece, I am arranging a recording session of the complete “Alice Etudes” in Hungary at the end of February. I have engaged clarinetist Gabor Varga (he played one of the solo parts in my Clarinet Symphony not too long ago), and string players of the Hungarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, including the wonderful American concert master Nathan Giem. You will receive a link via email to download the professional recording of Alice Etudes by the end of March, 2017.
We are closing the campaign now. The amount we have received will cover most of the costs of the recording session. Thank you again for your support. I will keep you posted on everything regarding Alice Etudes.