ClarinetFest® Day 5
Composition Competition Winners Concert
by Erin Cameron
The ICA Composition Competition Winners Concert was held Saturday, 7/3/22 at 9am
The ICA Composition Competition Winners Concert took place on the morning of July 3 and featured the winners of both the Composition Competition, coordinated by Kelly Johnson, and the Low Clarinet Composition Competition, coordinated by Stefanie Gardner. The 2022 prizewinners were Paul Vowles (Fire of Hades for clarinet and piano) and Chris Heine (June Sleet for bass clarinet and piano). Performed by Andy Hudson and Gail Novak, Fire of Hades consists of seven short movements depicting various aspects of hell. Despite the piece’s title, the music is often quite pleasant, with alternating moments of virtuosity and lyricism. A particular favorite is the third movement, which features a forward-moving moto perpetuo in the clarinet and piano. Outstanding technical and expressive performances from both Hudson and Novak highlighted this new work in the best possible light. Heine’s June Sleet is a tour de force for the bass clarinet, impressively performed by Tim Bagert and Gail Novak. Composed in one continuous movement, the piece presents endurance challenges for the bass clarinetist as the work moves through sections reminiscent of jazz and parts that are more lyrical and restrained. A particularly nice moment is the solo bass clarinet cadenza in the middle of the work, featuring a descending bass line and jazz-like figurations.