Fort Worth Ballroom 5, Omni Hotel
Flowers without Borders Stage
Friday, July 2, 2:55 pm
Please join me at the International Clarinet Association’s ClarinetFest 2021 in Fort Worth this summer!
I will be performing two lesser-known but outstanding works by women-composers from the Basque Country, Spain: Isabel Urrutia (b. 1967), who is currently based in Paris, and Alba Torremocha (b. 1993), currently based in New York City.
Isabel Urrutia’s work was originally written for clarinet and string quartet in 2012. The composer arranged it for clarinet and strings that same year and won first prize at the “Grazyna Bacewicz” International Composers Competition with it in Poland. A year later, due to the work’s warm reception, the composer adapted it for clarinet and piano. Each iteration of the work got a different title: “Lilurak” (Fascination) for clarinet and string quartet came first; “Haizearen Nahiak” (The Wind’s Desire) for clarinet and strings followed in 2012; and “Biga” (Two) for clarinet and piano is the current work from 2013. The titles are in Basque, the native language from the region in north Spain and south France. The music in this work is haunting and colorful, starting with textures that recreate the wind’s soft whistle and building up to a climactic rhythmic section where one can imagine the battering of windows popped open by strong winds.
Alba Torremocha’s “Txalapartatzen” (“txalaparting” or being one with the “txalaparta” instrument) is a piece developed from the sound of the Txalaparta, a folkloric percussion instrument from the Basque Country, made rustically out of pieces of wood. The sound and characteristics of the Txalaparta are strongly tied to the Basque culture (rustic and harsh, but deep and complex). Therefore, for the composer, this piece constitutes a set of reminiscences of the Basque Country, where she began her composition career. When the composer thinks about the Basque Country, the three main elements that come to mind are Wind, Wood, and Water. The piece is divided in three different sections that convey these three elements through the filter of memory. The piece constitutes a set of reminiscences of the Basque Country, a whirlwind of emotions, memories and feelings of what the Basque Culture represents for the composer, all of it channeled through the sound of the Txalaparta.