From The Blog
Fantasía Venezolana for Clarinet Quintet (piccolo, 3 B-flat clarinets, and bass clarinet) is a piece based on the musical tradition of Venezuela. This piece finds inspiration in the Tonada, the Quirpa, and the Gaita de Tambora. The Tonada and the Quirpa are genres from the plains or “Llanos.” The first is a slow and free song that the cowboys sing or whistle while milking the cows. The second is a variation of the Joropo, a brisk dance that celebrates themes such as the bravery of the cowboys or “llaneros,” the beauty of the surrounding nature, and the love for one’s lover or Venezuela. The Gaita de Tambora is performed in the northwest of Venezuela and features percussive traits and aboriginal harmonized chants. Fantasía Venezolana was commissioned by, dedicated to, and premiered by the Chicago Clarinet Ensemble with Jorge Montilla as a guest performer on the E-flat clarinet, on April 20th, 2013 at the Recital Hall of the Northeastern Illinois University.