Jenni’s “Chansons de la Nature pour la Clarinette” was performed at the University of Wisconsin’s Mead Witter School of Music concert by Christian Bonner. Shuk-Ki Wong pianist, accompanied Christian on April 22, 2018.
Chansons de la Nature pour la Clarinette tells a story about nature as told by the clarinet’s agile voice. The French titles and basis of the pieces were inspired by the lyrical and pastoral quality of the French language and the images it invokes. The piece is also inspired by the images presented in Aesop’s fables (and Jean de la Fontain’s retelling of them); in particular, the movement “Le Lièvre et la Tortue” tells of the slow tortoise beating the fast hare with his patience and determination. Both creatures are represented in this movement, from the plodding of the tortoise to the quick movements of the hare.
The other movements also represent a variety of characters and situations from these famous fables. “Le Poisson” darts, “Le Papillon” flutters and floats, “L’étoile” shimmers in the night sky, nature ‘dances’, and “Le Serpent” is slippery and quick. Each movement is short, but just long enough to evoke a story and create a ‘song of nature’ for the clarinet.