Tuesday, December 13, 2011

CIM: Elinor Rufeizen Junior Recital (@CIM_edu)

Debussy: Premiere Rhapsodie (Rafael Skorka, piano)
Hersant: In the Dark (for solo clarinet)
Reich: New York Counterpoint (solo clarinet with recorded  music)
Mozart: Clarinet Concerto, K. 622 (solo clarinet with chamber orchestra)
Elinor Rufeizen, clarinet, at Mixon Hall, the Cleveland Institute of Music.

I had been invited to Elinor Rufeizen's Junior Recital tonight by an acquaintance and patron of the arts. Although one of my goals has been to attend more individual student recitals, on the heels of my event last night I had contemplated a quiet evening instead. Rachel and I however made the quick trip to CIM for the recital and it was a delicious blend of music.

The program moved at a brisk pace and my interest never seemed to wane. From the two well known composers on the program -- Debussy's Premiere Rhapsodie beginning on the program and Mozart's K. 622 Clarinet Concerto ending the program -- the passion was clear and the notes comfortably expanded to fill the hall -- in the latter, Ms. Rufeizen played dual roles as solo clarinet and conductor to a chamber orchestra that supported her playing without trying to out play her.

In the middle of that sandwich was Philippe Hersant's In the Dark--a composer and composition known to few, if any, of the audience members and had a catchy, almost jazzy sound. One recurring, rounded, series of notes reminded me of the musical signature used in the movie Catch Me If You Can (odd connection, I know) and the abrupt ending caught me a bit by surprise.

The third piece on the program, another lesser-known composer and the most interesting to me from the evening, Steve Reich's New York Counterpoint, a piece for solo clarinet with recorded music and electronic effects, was layer upon layer of music created a polyphonic chaos that grew and subsided, ebbed and flowed: A note would build, reverberate, then decay while another note existed in the same space. Then other notes would appear and take over the stage. You could hear the sounds of the subway ... then the hustle and bustle of a crowd on the sidewalk ... then a traffic jam. All of the ambient noise you encounter in New York captured by a solo and recorded clarinet. It should be mentioned that playing to recording is much less forgiving than playing with live ensemble who can adjust on the fly -- but tonight there didn't seem to be anything that needed to be forgiven.

After the recital, the acquaintance and patron who had invited us to the recital hosted a wonderful reception in her home with a variety of conversation to round out the evening.


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