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TheContemporary Clarinet

Whatcan one say about The Contemporary Clarinet, the Wesley Ferreiraclarinet? It puts one in a happy place as the clarinetist is growingin fame exponentially given that his tones are smooth and beautiful.The clarinetist has been lauded for his prowess across continents. Hehas features in numerous bands in Europe, North America, as well ashis own home, Canada, where he has received heightened attention andairtime by the country’s broadcasting corporation. Further, theInternational Clarinet Association, the International Clarinet andSaxophone Festival, and the Canadian University Music Society haveall witnessed this talented clarinetist perform live in 2009, 2005,and 2011 respectively. Having him perform at the Oregon Recital Hallon March 31, 2014, therefore, was an honor.

Againstthis backdrop, you can visualize the atmosphere that was in the hallwhen Wesley Ferreira stepped on stage to perform the Invisible Duet(2002) originally composed by Fredrik Högberg. In this piece, theclarinetist wooed the attention of the audience by using a tape fromthis Swedish composer for his opening recital. The performer’sopening statement shortly before commencement of the performancethat the concert would involve numerous sounds and melodies played atdifferent levels without many words, became a reality, and theaudience appeared enthralled. The electrical sounds during theperformance kept the audiences entertained. The electronic sound,field recordings, and ecological sound do play an important part inthe singer’s performances.

Next,Wesley Ferreira played a piece named Sapphire Song from a Canadianbased composer named Donald Steven (Bogdanov, Woodstra, and Erlewine43). This piece was licenced by the University of Western Ontarioteacher, Dr. Ferreira, via the Ontario Arts Council. Wesley employedthe clarinet in one section of the performance and wind in the next.The performer depicted the various ways that the clarinet can beplayed proving that the saxophone, although gaining popularity, doesnot come close to replacing it. The player conjured differentemotions from the audience with his exemplary skills on the clarinetthat enabled him to produce different rhythms throughout thesections.

Thethird performance, Voices Rising, was an exemplary item in theconcert. The music was originally written by Rodney Rogers in 2000for solo clarinet. For Ferreira, this was a time to portray hismastery of the clarinet as background music from piano made theperformance an out-of-earth experience. Music performances by topclarinetists also include various ensembles such as percussion,violin, and base tuba when performing tango-orchestra and otherpieces that resemble Ferreira’s work (Clarinet and Saxophone 45).The performance spurred intensive and emotional feelings among theaudiences, but the emotions changed at the middle of the song as theFerreira guided the ensemble towards a slower rate.

Towardsthe end of the concert, Ferreira exhibited the various voices that aclarinet can make. The clarinet is known for its sharp andpenetrating sound, especially in the military melody of the infantry(Hoeprich 298). Ferreira entertained the audience with a myriad ofthese sounds and the experience was even better considering the stagemade the sounds appear as though they were emanating from afar. Bythe time the performer was done, the audience had had a clear tasteof classical music. Ferreira did not leave before giving the audiencean experience of folk songs originally written and performed by EricMandat. Eric Mandat’s folk songs subsume pieces such as spirited,expansive, heavily, with devotion, and like Flamenco (Morrison 69).Wesley Ferreira performed the folk songs, which have an extended linemaking it look as though the performer does not breathe. Ferreira wasable to depict this circular breathing characteristic as he blew theclarinet. One has to be keen enough to hear the intakes of air by theclarinetist.

Insum, Ferreira was able to depict his prowess and teach the audiencevarious things. For these reasons, I can term the concert as asuccess. In addition to that, the multi-talented performer andteacher showed that classical music has a promising future – onethat parallels the myriad changes present all over the world . Theconcert was was a huge show, and everyone got to have fun.


Bogdanov,Vladimir, Chris Woodstra, and Stephen Thomas Erlewine. AllMusic Guide to Jazz: The Definitive Guide to Jazz Music.Backbeat Books, 2002. Print.

Clarinetand Saxophone.Clarinet and Saxophone Society of Great Britain, 1990. Print.

Hoeprich,Eric. TheClarinet.Yale University Press, 2008. Print.

Morrison,Amanda Rachel. EricMandat : His Musical Life.Washington DC: N. p., 2011. Print.