Solo Clarinet in Bb and Wind Ensemble. (2005) 27′
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I. Desert Roads
II. Soliloquy – Not Knowing
III. Coming Home
IV. Pray for Tender Voices in the Darkness
The concerto has become a particularly intimate vehicle of expression for me. The title “Desert Roads” suggests an interior journey, a time of searching, of not knowing, of creative incubation.
I have chosen to call these four movements “songs” for clarinet and wind ensemble. This connects them directly to the Romantic idea of “songs without words.” They are intimate rather than symphonic expressions. Songs by Schubert, Schumann, and Brahms are some of my favorite music.
I. Desert Roads: Christ’s 40 days in the desert – Moses and Israel: 40 years in the desert – a time of inner searching
II. Soliloquy – Not Knowing: A brief movement, looking deeply and fervently for guidance
III. Coming Home: A “life journey” movement, both delicate and forceful, thoughtful and exuberant – a quiet coming home to rest – dedicated to the memory of Frederick Fennell, father of the modern wind ensemble movement, whose mentoring and friendship set me firmly on my path of writing for winds.
IV. Pray for Tender Voices in the Darkness: A sober contemplation of death – a benediction