Hear two remarkable and colorful clarinet quintets: Carl Maria Von Weber’s Clarinet Quintet and David Bruce’s Gumboots, which is a thematic work that brings to light the brutal labor conditions of South Africa under Apartheid.
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Jose Franch Ballester, Clarinet
Kristin Lee, Violin
Jason Ueyama, Violin
Tien-Hsin Cindy Wu, Viola
Ani Aznavoorian, Cello
Tonight’s program consists of two remarkable and colorful clarinet quintets. Carl Maria Von Weber’s Clarinet Quintet was written for his close friend, the clarinet virtuoso Heinrich Baermann. While the latter would have preferred a concerto to perform with orchestras, this work was designed such that the clarinetist could travel town to town and gather the local musicians to support the four string parts of this colorful work. David Bruce’s Gumboots is a thematic clarinet quintet that brings to light the brutal labor conditions of South Africa under Apartheid. Black miners were chained together and wore Gumboots (wellington boots) while they worked in the flooded gold mines. Slapping the boots and chains was used by the workers as a form of communication which was otherwise banned in the mine. The composer describes the first half of his Quintet as yearning for tranquility and peace, while the finale consists of five lively and joyful dances.
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