08/10/2003 - Bamberg (Germany) - Alain Billard (bass clar.), Bamberger Symphoniker, Jonathan Nott (conductor)
What fascinates me in Schubert's lieder, more even than the unusually creative melodic lines, is the number of piano accompaniment patterns (or Formel in German). These repetitive elements often convey meaning and provide drama, while their gradual transformation builds up a form that goes far beyond support for the vocal line, distilling the quintessence of the musical substance. So when the artistic director of the Bamberg Symphony Orchestra, Jonathan Nott, invited me to compose a work in homage to Schubert, it was with enthusiasm that I immediately took up the challenge, deciding to seek inspiration in the musical material of a number of Schubert lieder. Moreover the instrumental grouping (Mit Ausdruck is the first ever concerto to be written for bass clarinet and symphony orchestra) enabled me to write in accordance with the principle of proliferation, whereby a motif first heard on the solo instrument can then be echoed or used in different contrapuntal ideas in the orchestra.
Mit Ausdruck was commissioned by the Bamberg Symphony Orchestra, and is dedicated to my friend, the clarinettist Alain Billard.
1 CD Tudor, 7132, Schubert Dialog
Widmann: Lied für Orchestrer - Rihm: Erscheinung - Mantovani: Mit Ausdruck - Schnebel: Schubert-Phantasie
Bamberger Symphoniker, Alain Billard (bass clarinet), Jonathan Nott (conductor)