The Garden of My Father's House
for Violin & Clarinet

Composer: Kupferman, Meyer

  • 80111202

Publication Type

Performance Score(s)


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Instrumentation: Violin & Clarinet
Duration: '
Composed: 1972
Published by: Soundspells Productions

Includes set of 2 scores

"The Garden of My Father's House (1973) is a dramatic rhapsody for violin and clarinet duo. The composer wrote the following: ""I composed THE GARDEN OF MY FATHER'S HOUSE in 1972 in memory of my father, who was my first music teacher. Although he played many instruments and loved to sing, he could not read a note of music. When I was very young he would sing Gypsy songs, Yiddish folk-songs and Rumanian tunes to me and I would play them back on my clarinet, often with ornaments and variations. Sometimes he would accompany me on the piano; he had a few favorite chords which always seemed to pop up no matter what the tune. The piece is a musical ritual, based on a C-sharp drone, or pedal note, that is heard without interruption, across several ranges, throughout the piece. The violin's drone tremolos, often combined with perfect fifths and quarter-tone tunings, imply the key of Csharp minor. The violin part is always rubato — lyrical, expressive and frequently very passionate. But, most importantly, the violin is always tonal. The clarinet, on the other hand, is atonal, its pitches drawn from the twelve-tone row that I used to write my Cycles of Infinities. The style of the clarinet is contemporary, using wide-range intervals, biting accents and unusual instrumental effects, including fluttertonguing and quarter-tone trills. In combining the 'contrasting' roles of the two instruments, I sought to create a musical ritual-game that would draw energy and bits of information from the polarized instruments. The language of the piece calls the listener's attention to the cogent features of both instrumental personalities in a manner that is somewhat similar to the way in which Yiddish combines German and Hebrew. The drone becomes more and more magnetic and begins to join the parts together until they become one in the final C-sharp unison.
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