• Aulis Sallinen
  • Concerto for Clarinet, Viola and Chamber Orchestra, Op. 91 (2008)

  • Novello & Co Ltd (World)
  • 2fl(pic)percstr(
  • clarinet, viola
  • 21 min

Programme Note

This double concerto is cast in three movements:

1. The Dolphin's Lament
In November 2006, two dolphins that had strayed into the Baltic Sea got caught up in fishing nets and drowned. The mother appeared to have died while trying to free her pup from the nets. It was a sad event in which the path of an intelligent marine mammal crossed with that of humans in a way that had been feared and that no-one had wished for.

2. Les Jeux
Play is at the root of all art. What makes action founded purely on play special is the fact that it does not appear to be in any way biologically necessary for the preservation of the species; here again we can see a resemblance between human and animal behaviour. In music, a playful attitude is evident in an even purer form in, say, folk music and jazz improvisation. And maybe here too, to some extent: the cadenzas I originally wrote for the Telemann concerto for two violas are embedded in the texture of Les Jeuz, now scored for clarinet and viola.

3. Adagio Del Toro
The bull in the bullfight is the four-legged creature most conspicuously subjected to the most appalling, senseless form of human ritualism. The noble beast is forced to participate in excruciating arena contests arranged by two-legged creatures for the sake of tradition and calculating commercialism. The 'patroness' of this concerto is Brigitte Bardot, a contemporary of mine who has fought untiringly against human cruelty and indifference to animals in various parts of the world. Some thirty years ago B.B. turned her film stardom into a weapon in the fight to right glaring wrongs. The motto of one of her books is borrowed from Mahatma Gangdi: "The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way it treats its animals".

- Aulis Sallinen

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