Jenni Brandon’s “Starry Night”, a three movement work, is performed by Virginia Costa Figueiredo on her award-winning album “Seule”. Virginia is a Los Angeles based clarinetist where she performs regularly as a freelancer and with local music ensembles. As a recording artist, she has released two albums to critical acclaim: her debut solo album, Seule, was a 2018 Global Music Awards silver medalist, while her 2014 album with The Divan Consort, Refuge, earned a first-round GRAMMY nomination in 2015 as well as a Global Music Awards gold medal.
The idea for her debut solo album “Seule” began in 2009 and came from the desire to explore music by Los Angeles composers and music by composers from her native country Portugal. It features works by American composers Jenni Brandon, Daniel Kessner, Ken Walicki, Pamela Madsen, David Lefkowitz, and Portuguese composers; Clotilde Rosa, and Maria de Lurdes Martins.
Starry Night by Jenni Brandon, Big Dog by Ken Walicki, Riverly is the Moon by Pamela Madsen were all composed for and premiered by Virginia Figueiredo. Many of these works include extended clarinet techniques, but it is their lyrical and expressive character that really shines through and features the beauty of music for clarinet alone.
She is an internationally active performer, recording artist, and educator. She has toured extensively throughout the United States, Europe, South America, and Asia as a soloist and chamber musician, and her performances have been featured on radio broadcasts in both Portugal and the United States. In Southern California, she performs regularly with The Pacific Opera Project, the Luso-American Duo, and numerous other orchestras and chamber ensembles.
Starry Night for Solo B flat clarinet is a three-movement work for solo B-flat clarinet that tells of the night skies and our fascination with what lies in them. Using poetry and texts from Gerard Manley Hopkins, John Keats, and Van Gogh (whose painting is also the inspiration for the title of this work), these movements tell of the stars as “fire-folk” and how the sight of stars can make us dream.
- The Starlight Night
Look at the stars! look, look up at the skies!
O look at all the fire-folk sitting in the air!
Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844-1889)
- Bright Star!
Bright Star! Would I were steadfast as thou art-
Not in lone splendor hang aloft the night!
John Keats (1795-1821)
III. The Sight of Stars
For my part I know nothing with any certainty,
but the sight of stars makes me dream.
Vincent van Gogh (1853-1890)
This work was written for Virginia Costa Figueiredo, premiered in February 2013, and receives its premiere recording on her CD