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최종편집 : 2019.5.14 화 09:43
CultureCampus Review
CAU Clarinet EnsemblePresented By CAU’s School of Music
Lee Ye-sung  |  sungyyy@cau.ac.kr
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승인 2017.07.28  21:28:13
트위터 페이스북 미투데이 요즘 네이버 구글 msn

     You will have heard time and again that the violin is the closest-sounding instrument to the human voice. Then, have you heard about the role of the clarinet? Bearing a unique and distinctive tone, the clarinet possesses the ability to freely control the dynamics and thus, alike to the significant role the violin plays among the strings, has an extensive range of sounds it is able to express. Last May 19th at the CAU Art Centre Grand Theatre, Clarinet Ensemble from CAU School of Music put on their periodical concert. With cheeks blowing up like a steamed bun, let’s sit back and relax as we become enchanted by the harmonious melodies of the clarinets. Take a deep breath!


What’s So Special About a Clarinet

     Here in Korea, the clarinet may sound a bit unfamiliar to some, compared to other instruments like the flute or piano. So, what exactly is a clarinet? Like the oboe, flute and bassoon, the clarinet is part of the woodwind family. Long and cylindrical in shape, the clarinet is the only member from the woodwind family that creates a closed pipe vibration and the only wind instrument in an orchestra that uses a single-reed. There are two types of reeds; single and double, with the clarinet taking advantage of this feature to produce its captivating low-pitched sounds. Apart from these characteristics, there also exists, not just one but various types of clarinets such as the typical Bb clarinet, the Eb clarinet that is usually used in the soprano parts as well as D, C, A clarinets.


A Look into the Pieces


Passacaglia, together with Bach’s Chaconne which is known as one of the saddest pieces ever written, are considered as one of the most representative variations of the Baroque Period. Brought to life by G. F. Handel, the mother of Music, the Passacaglia was inspired by a triple meter, moderate tempo piece that was fairly well-known throughout Italy and Spain during the 17th and 18th century., originally written for the harpsichord. Nevertheless, you’ll notice that there is a familiar yet different vibe when it comes to an ensemble of clarinets performing this magnificence piece.

Carmen Fantasie

Carmen Fantasie by P. Sarasate, along with Gypsy Airs, is known as one of his most well-known pieces. A violin fantasy, it is based on themes from ‘Carmen’, an opera by Georges Bizet, that was relatively gaining popularity at that time. A piece that showcases the exquisite techniques of the violin as an instrument and its splendor, imagine what it would be like if clarinets recreated this piece with their very own dynamics? We’ll leave that to your imagination!

Voices of Spring

As if signaling Spring with the start of year of vigor and life after a cold, harsh Winter, the King of Waltz Johann Strauss’ Voices of Spring’ is said to have been composed on the spot at a dinner party, by chance, by tweaking a few parts of another waltz piece. Upon hearing this waltz, followed by the beginning four bars of the piece, it will feel as if you’ve been taken to the middle of a field, with the fragrance of Spring blowing from one direction and the warm, soothing rays of the Sun dazzling up in the cerulean blue sky without a speck of clouds to be seen, reminding us of what we’ve been missing out on during the Winter.

Capriccio Espagnol

Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov’s Capriccio Espagnol, translated into ‘Capriccio on Spanish Themes’ which was originally intended for a solo violin with an orchestra, can be noted as the Spanish version of his very own ‘Fantasia on Two Russian Themes.’ Capturing the audience’s attention at just a few bars into the piece, the Spanish theme full of vigor and zest, is one its most prominent characteristics. However, with a diverse yet complicated orchestration, it is known to be a piece that should be played with caution. Were our CAU clarinetists able to pull it off?


What Does it Mean to Them?

Introduce Yourself!

Hello, my name is Park Min Gyu and I play the 3rd Clarinet position.

What would you say the charms of a clarinet are?

Compared to other instruments, I think that the clarinet has a wide tone range and is thus, able to express a diverse variety of pieces.

Which piece from the concert was your favourite?

The first piece. B. Smetana’s Vltava, also known as Die Moldau. As a piece based on the theme of nature, I think that the clarinet, as an instrument that is able to produce a diverse range of sounds, is able to express the flowing of the river as well as the pitter-patter of raindrops adeptly.

What do you hope for the audience to take back from your performance?

I hope that they will notice from now onwards that nature is not something from the outer world but one that coexists with us.


Introduce Yourself!

Hello I am Kim Eun-byul, playing the 1st Clarinet position.

What would you say the charms of a clarinet are?

The fact that the clarinet’s sound is alike to the human voice and produces such melodious notes.

Which piece from the concert was your favourite?

Personally, I really enjoyed playing the 1st piece, the Vltava. What was unique about this particular piece is that the tempo changes in the middle, which is exciting to perform.

What do you hope for the audience to take back from your performance?

I just hope the audience can take this opportunity to realize how we are able to express different emotions through the music we create and feel it for themselves.


     There is no end to the charms of the charismatic instrument we call the clarinet. Though it may not sound so familiar to some, let us take this opportunity to bask in its brilliance. The reason the clarinet may feel distant could be because we associate it with orchestral music. Where, in fact, not only can we come into contact with it through classical music but also many genres ranging from jazz to even pop. Keep your ears alert next time you listen to a song on the radio. It might turn out to be one of CAU’s clarinetists!


Location: CAU Art Center Grand Theatre

Period: 2017.05.19


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