'Clarinet Concert', work by Professor Alfonso Fuentes Colón, premieres as part of the Casals 2023 Festival

Clarinet Concerto', the work of Professor Alfonso Fuentes Colón, premieres as part of the Casals 2023 Festival, a concert that will also be directed by the professor and orchestral director, Rafael E. Irizarry.


The soloist of Professor Alfonso's work is the Basque clarinetist, Oskar Espina-Ruiz, who was also a professor at the CMPR. And, to continue adding the footprint of the CMPR in this concert, works by Héctor Campos Parsi (RIP), former professor at the Conservatory, and Alberto Ginastera will be performed. We invite everyone to attend the concert, which will take place on Thursday, May 25 at 7:00 pm in the Symphony Hall of the Fine Arts Center.

Professor Fuentes narrates about his work: “I promised the fallen trees due to the scourge of Hurricane María in Puerto Rico (September 2017) that I would write them a musical work as a thank you for having faced the fury of the winds, like a loving hug. , and a tribute to its vital presence in the nature-world. Because of that commitment I wrote the first movement, which I titled 'Ode for Fallen Trees'. It began to take shape days after the hurricane, when our house, like thousands of others, lacked electricity and water service. Not having access to the media for a long time, I had no news of the devastation and painful human casualties in the country, but I could see and feel a number of fallen, destroyed, broken, dying trees around me. During the day I collaborated in collecting debris and social assistance from my surroundings. In the afternoon and evening, he composed using a portable battery-powered piano and a headlamp to light the paper, since it got dark very early. Thanks to the rapid composition of this movement I was able to overcome the feeling of emptiness and uncertainty experienced due to the aforementioned atmospheric phenomenon.

Later, after a pause, I wrote Metaphor of the People, its second movement, which is inspired by the joy of many people for the sprouting of greenery, and the hope of returning to daily life despite the sadness, while I was revising the entire orchestration of the work. This is not intended to be programmatic.

Clarinet concerto uses a tonal language with areas of polytonality, from a neo-romantic point of view. The solo clarinet has several functions: in the first movement it gravitates in different dimensions of space and depth, moving over, between, and under the density of the sound complex. While in the second movement it remains “visible” in the style of classical concertos. This movement is based on Prikitín Pin Pon; second piece of my work for solo clarinet, titled 'Voces del barrio' (2006), which has a tropical rhythmic phraseology in 2:3 key.

I thank Princeton University and its “Visiting Scholars and Artists from Puerto Rico” program created by the Latin American Studies Program, which granted me a scholarship to work on this work on its campus for a period of time. From this experience a beautiful relationship with said institution blossomed. And to the clarinetist Oskar Espina-Ruiz, to whom I dedicate this work and thank him for the kindness of this premiere. His technique and sensitivity were inspiration for the display of demands for the soloist.

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