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Necessity / Variego, Solomon, Sain, Holiday

Variego, Jorge
Release Date: 05/11/2010 
Label:  Albany Records   Catalog #: 1189   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Jorge VariegoSergio FidemraizerMike SolomonJames Paul Sain,   ... 
Performer:  Jorge Variego
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Electronic MediaClarinet Quartet
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

VARIEGO Statement. Song. Deceptive Palindrome. Mimic. Now That You Are Here. Final Statement. FIDEMRAIZER Viento Sur. SOLOMON Una passeggiata per la Piazza San Marco. SAIN Kornighet HOLIDAY God Bless the Child Jorge Variego (cl) ALBANY TROY1189 (61:08)

Read more /> Jorge Variego is a young clarinetist and composer from Argentina, working his way through American academia as a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Florida. It’s a bold move for someone with a relatively slight résumé to release a disc on a major label. The music is of varying interest, but the playing is engaging and expressive, and he has clearly marked himself as an artist to watch.

Variego himself is the composer of more than half the music on the disc, and much of it shows a keen imagination and impressive technical skill. Three of the movements are part of his Clarinet Quartet No. 1, but they appear separately rather than in sequence. The four voices are played by the clarinetist in prerecorded layers, though the notes don’t explicitly make this clear. The first movement ( Statement ) gives most of the leading material to the bass clarinet, while the other voices provide nicely textured accompaniment, some of it sounding deliberately unaligned and perhaps partly improvised. Deceptive Palindrome is the title given to the second movement, a curious and persuasive experiment that alters traditional notions of cadence. The last movement is called Final Statement , and is perhaps my favorite track on the disc. It may seem to some as derivative of Xenakis, but there are certainly worse models for a young composer. It is based in part on homophonic blocks of sound that move in clusters. Song is a relatively simple and mournful duet, filled with expressive lyricism. The vivid, colorful Giant Shapes throws computer-generated sounds into the mix.

Sergio Fidemraiser’s Viento Sur was composed for one of the gods of the bass clarinet, Harry Sparnaay. It includes a rather dense track of prerecorded sounds, with plenty of key clicks and airy sounds that conjure the wind. The foreground and background positions of the recorded sounds are well mastered and evocative.

It’s almost a cliché these days for a bass clarinetist to take on Eric Dolphy’s version of Billie Holiday’s God Bless the Child , but Variego’s version is nimble, soulful, and full of character. Mike Solomon’s Una passeggiata per la Piazza San Marco is a gripping, dizzying thrill ride, and James Paul Sain’s Kornighet boasts sophisticated, state-of-the-art sound manipulation.

Overall, this is an impressive, audacious debut, and I have no doubt that even better things lie ahead for this young talent.

FANFARE: Michael Cameron
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Works on This Recording

Statement for Clarinet Quartet by Jorge Variego
Performer:  Jorge Variego (Clarinet)
Notes: Jorge Variego recorded this piece on various clarinets in multiple tracks. 
Viento Sur by Sergio Fidemraizer
Performer:  Jorge Variego (Bass Clarinet)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Electronic Media
Song for B-flat Clarinet and Bass Clarinet by Jorge Variego
Performer:  Jorge Variego (Clarinet)
Giant Shapes by Jorge Variego
Performer:  Jorge Variego (Clarinet)
Notes: Scored for prepared clarinet in B-flat and A and computer. 
Una passeggiata per la Piazza San Marco by Mike Solomon
Performer:  Jorge Variego (Clarinet)
Kornighet by James Paul Sain
Performer:  Jorge Variego (Clarinet)
Deceptive palindrome by Jorge Variego
Performer:  Jorge Variego (Clarinet)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Clarinet Quartet
God bless the child by Billie Holiday
Performer:  Jorge Variego (Bass Clarinet)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1941; USA 
Mimic for B-flat Clarinet and Joystick by Jorge Variego
Performer:  Jorge Variego (Clarinet)
Now that you are here by Jorge Variego
Performer:  Jorge Variego (Clarinet)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Electronic Media
Notes: For bass clarinet and computer. 
Final statement by Jorge Variego
Performer:  Jorge Variego (Clarinet)

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