Quintet for Clarinet and Strings
by Richard Hawkins and the Pacifica Quartet on March 1, 2009
Dominik Maican (b. 1990) describes his quintet: “If I would have to quickly describe the music of the entire quintet, I would use two words — passionate and dramatic. I hope that the quintet will support my belief in music and its power as a critical comfort on our journey through life. We are born alone; we are alone in our consciousness; and we die alone. For me, music is who I am and so it is going to be my companion until the end. In music, a composer has to hear his own emotions and address them in a language that others can understand. I never forget that my music is going to be shared with an audience who is not much different from me, and with whom I hope to connect.
“In that same spirit I have been very blessed to travel a lot because of my native European parents. In many trips I visited Romania, where I heard original folkloric music in secluded villages deep in the Carpathian Mountains. I was extraordinarily impressed and inspired, and so began my journey of writing a few chamber works based on Romanian folkloric modes, rhythms, and melodic patterns.
“The first movement of the Quintet begins with a Lento e molto rubato and reminds me of Romanian ballads, which I often heard played by traditional instruments. Soon after this opening, an Allegro vivace gives the tone for a joyful dialogue between instruments. The rhythm and constant change of the dynamics greatly contribute to the music’s happy and joyous atmosphere. The music reminds me of the frenetic dances I have seen and heard in which people were engaged with passion and enthusiasm. The second movement Adagio, a very chromatic one, brings to my mind the atmosphere of ‘Doina,’ one of the most popular lyric and melancholic Romanian folk songs. In the middle of it, a Presto section has a clarinet lead, supported by the strings with a very syncopated rhythm. This brings the unexpected, a surprising element that is key to keeping musical tension. After this quite atonal and virtuoso moment of the middle section of the second movement, the return to the Adagio is peaceful and almost completely tonal. The third movement, Presto, evokes glory to life, beauty, and humankind.”
Sponsored by: Hal Myers