Composed in 2021 at the request of the great clarinettist Ronald Van Spaendonck, Rhapsody is a work of great virtuosity. Written in one movement, it is structured in three parts ABA’.
A begins with the orchestra gradually building up an ostinato over which the clarinet plays a rhythmic theme. A second, more lyrical theme then appears, but supported by another rhythmic ostinato from the orchestra. After an intense climax comes a very long solo cadenza based on the various elements encountered earlier, combining extreme virtuosity and great expressive intensity. The end of the cadenza is followed by the very calm, expressive and lyrical B-part. The clarinet is in dialogue in many places with some of the orchestral instruments playing solo (violin, viola, cello), as in a Symphonie concertante, while the orchestra supports them. A’ brings back elements of A, but in a highly varied way, superimposed on other motifs from B in a richly contrapuntal writing, leading to the brilliant final conclusion.
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