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Name of Work

Burge, David (1930-)
Sources III for clarinet and percussion

Sources III for Clarinet and Percussion


Oct 14, 1990

Larry Combs, Clarinet
Patricia Dash, Percussion

Oct 15, 1990

Larry Combs, Clarinet
Patricia Dash, Percussion

BURGE - Sources III for Clarinet and Percussion

Composed in 1967

Born in 1930 in Evanston, David Burge won his bachelor's and master's degrees from the Northwestern University School of Music, and the Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the Eastman School, where he became chairman of the piano department in 1975. As a concert pianist, he has been a particular exponent of new music, having given the premieres of works by George Crumb and William Albright among others. Mr. Burge has also been a conductor, a lecturer, and a composer of both stage and concert music.

During the 1960's, he wrote four disparate instrumental works under the general title of Sources, "each of which," he said, "explores various compositional possibilities ...each...derives pitch choices from a source series. Sources III," he adds, “utilizes theatrical elements, motion and light, in what is basically a concert work."

The dramatic and startling nature of a good deal of Burge's music is well exemplified by Sources III, which was composed in 1967 for clarinetist Jerry Smith and percussionist John Golm, who were both classmates of Larry Combs at Eastman. Our clarinetist tonight describes the piece simply as "spectacular." Its rich and colorful sonority is just one part of its impact, which is augmented by a special direction on the title page: "Music for two performers, to be illuminated by ten candles, which are to be extinguished by number as indicated in the score." The performance will end in total darkness.

Sources III is a single-movement work divided into five sections by metronome markings. Moderately slow tempo is succeeded by very rapid, then by two additional slow passages, the second of which is "Cadenza No. 1." The final section, "Cadenza No.2," is in free tempo; both players are spotlighted in these virtuoso portions. The percussion battery that Burge requires is extensive, involving as one element an unusual eight-toned lujon, plus a suspended cymbal, three triangles, a vibraphone, three wood blocks, two high and two low tom-toms, two conga drums, a bass drum, and the great gong, or tam-tam, for mysterious, echoing resonances.

Program Notes by Andrea Lamoreaux

Performance: Oct 14 and 15, 1990

Performance Audio