Karim Al-Zand: Music: Cabinet of Curiosities


Cabinet of Curiosities

for clarinet & piano

A “cabinet of curiosities,” also known as a Wunderkammer, is an elaborate cupboard used as a repository of diverse and exotic objects, the assembly of which was a popular pastime for the affluent European of the 16th and 17th centuries. (The trompe l’oeil cabinet at left is by Andrea Domenico Remps, ca. 1620–1699.)

A typical cabinet would contain a wide array of small, rare and intriguing items drawn from the natural world (ornate coral and shells, bizarre insects), science (intricate clocks and toys, distorted mirrors), history (letters, relics, antiquities) and art (carvings, miniature paintings, figurines). imageCabinet of Curiosities presents a similarly diverse musical collection: six short pieces, each one with a somewhat peculiar and idiosyncratic character. The first imagines a still life painting in which one of the subjects is less than stationary. The second is a sort of vaulting dance, written as a musical palindrome. There follows an anamorphic fantasy on an old English folksong, a stately Baroque dance built on ascending and descending scales, and a billet doux for solo clarinet. The last movement is a set of rhythmic variations on the eleven-beat Bulgarian Kopanitsa rhythm.

Cabinet of Curiosities was written for a consortium of twenty clarinetists, assembled with the generous assistance of my friend and colleague Michael Webster. The consortium included clarinetists: J. Lawrie Bloom, Kelly Burke, Chad Edward Burrow, Jane Carl, Linda A. Cionitti, Steve Cohen, F. Gerard Errante, Kenneth Grant, William Helmers, Stephanie Key, Patricia Kostek, Richard Nunemaker, Andreas Ramseier, António Saiote, Robert Spring, Jo-Ann Sternberg, Jennifer Stevenson, Michael Webster, Charles West, Nathan Williams, and Peter Wright.

purchase

score
parts




DATE
2009

DURATION
15 minutes

INSTRUMENTATION
clarinet, piano

COMMISSION
Clarinet Consortium

PREMIÈRE
2009–2010 season

MOVEMENTS
1. Still Life with lizard
2. Saltarello al rovescio
3. Early one morning in a convex mirror
4. Sarabande selon la règle de l’octave
5. Love letter
6. Divisions on a Bulgarian rhythm


AUDIO
1. Still Life with lizard
2. Saltarello al rovescio
3. Early one morning in a convex mirror
4. Sarabande selon la règle de l’octave
5. Love letter
6. Divisions on a Bulgarian rhythm


SCORE
PDF


© 2015 KARIM AL-ZAND