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The Expressionistic Clarinet Started with "The Scream"


The idea originated with a scream.  It was not a shattering vocal sound, but instead a parody of the visual imagery of Edvard Munch’s “The Scream.” In this version, a person in the background is playing a clarinet. This was the initial spark that caused Dr. David Allen to put together a clarinet and piano recital called “The Expressionistic Clarinet.”

Allen is an adjunct assistant professor at Radford University. He has been with the Department of Music since 2001. In collaboration with pianist Erica Sipes, who is also an adjunct instructor in music at RU, they will perform in this faculty recital on Thursday, Oct. 24.

The inspiring image of “The Scream” seemed to Allen that it would make a great poster for a clarinet concert.  

The original Munch “The Scream” is an example of Expressionism in art. This is the same Expressionism movement that is also prevalent in music.

“While putting together a program for my recital this fall there were certain pieces that I wanted to play and discovered that all but one were related to Alban Berg's “Four Pieces for Clarinet and Piano,” says Allen.

Berg is considered an Expressionistic composer. With this connection to the “The Scream,” Allen found his theme coming together. The title of the recital soon followed.

The musical selections that Allen and Sipes are presetting include “Four Pieces for Clarinet and Piano” by Alban Berg; “Three Pieces for Clarinet Solo” by Igor Stravinsky; “Arias” by Leslie Bassett; “A Set for Clarinet” by Donald Martino; and “Sonata for Clarinet and Piano” by William Alwyn. 

Allen earned a Bachelor of Arts in Music from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, a Master of Music from Carnegie Mellon University, and a Doctor of Musical Arts from The University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

Sipes received her bachelors and masters degrees in piano performance from the Eastman School of Music.

“The Expressionistic Clarinet” will be presented on Thursday, Oct. 24 at the Performance Hall in the Covington Center at Radford University. The recital begins at 7:30 p.m. and is free. Parking is available in the campus lots around the Covington Center.

For more information about the performance, please call 540-831-5177. For more information about the RU Department of Music, visit www.radford.edu/music.

Oct 14, 2013

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