Robert Greenberg

Historian, Composer, Pianist, Speaker, Author

Archive for Rarefied Air

Rarefied Air

On November 13, 2012, a piece of mine entitled Rarefied Air was performed at Old First Church in San Francisco under the auspices of Composers, Inc. That performance – which featured Rob Bailis on clarinet, Michael Nicholas on violin, and Hadley McCarroll on piano – is now up on YouTube and thus available for your listening/viewing pleasure. Rarefied Air For B-flat Clarinet, Violin and Piano (1999) I. Liftoff II. Creatures of the Night III. Fresh Aria IV. Crystal Set Rarefied Air was originally written for the ensemble Strata. “Strata”, according to my Webster’s Collegiate, means “layers lain atop one another. . . regions of the atmosphere that are analogous to the strata of the earth.” “Rarefied” air is that thin, clear, high layer of air lying at the top of the lower atmosphere, also known as the “stratosphere”. This bit of atmospheric esoterica is meant to explain the inspiration for “Rarefied Air”. Movement I, “Liftoff” displays immediately the three basic registral strata of the piece: an explosive and densely chromatic low level (the “ground”), an intervening and rather more lyric middle level (up in the “air”), and a brittle and brilliant upper level (the “Strata-sphere”, as it were). The music […]

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