Solar Flair (2004)
(sound clip 1)
(sound clip 2)
Instrumentation: Clarinet duet
Sept. 12, 2004 at Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ, by Robert Spring and Jorge Montilla
Honorable Mention in ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Competition, 2005
Robert Spring had asked that the piece be fast and aggressive. Knowing the abilities of the two clarinetists, I had the opportunity to write a technically demanding and breathtaking piece. While I was studying at the Belgian Clarinet Academy in the summer of 2004, I mentioned to a friend and fellow clarinetist, Alana Bundock, my search for an inspiration for the piece. She suggested the title Solar Flare. Not knowing much about solar flares, I researched the topic on the internet when I returned home. A definition of solar flare is as follows:
A flare is a sudden, rapid, and intense variation in brightness. A solar flare occurs when magnetic energy that has built up in the solar atmosphere is suddenly released, causing radiation to emit across virtually the entire electromagnetic spectrum. The amount of energy released is the equivalent of millions of 100-megaton hydrogen bombs exploding at the same time!
This description of solar flares sparked my interest and inspired me to write this piece. In the title, I use the work "flair" to highlight the great talent and artistry of the two clarinetists who would perform the work.
The piece begins with a flashy, energetic introduction, followed by a sweet melodic phrase. Perpetual motion reigns throughout the piece, with only a few moments of relaxation. The melody returns between various abrupt, intense interjections, or "flares."