For Dallas

For Dallas

For Dallas

for solo Bb or A clarinet

Program Notes

Dallas Tidwell was a longtime friend and colleague. He played clarinet for many years in the Louisville Orchestra and was the clarinet professor at the University of Louisville, where I have taught since 1994, for a long time as well. Besides music, we shared a passion for cooking, and we made meals for each other on many occasions.

Dallas was a good friend to composers, commissioning, performing and recording a number of pieces, including several of mine, most notably Passagework, a cycle for voice, clarinet and piano which he performed with his wife, soprano Edith Davis Tidwell.

Dallas died in May of 2015, at the age of 64, after a battle with cancer that lasted several years. His family, friends, colleagues, students, and admirers of his musicianship were deprived of his presence much too soon.

When this happened the local music world was still reeling from the early death of another friend and colleague, trumpeter and professor Michael Tunnell who, like Dallas, had died all too young after a fight with cancer, and who had also been a staunch supporter of living composers.

Composers have long reacted to the deaths of people they cared for by writing music about it, and I am no exception. I composed a brief lament for solo trumpet in honor of Michael’s memory and here have written a similar piece for solo clarinet, thinking of my friend Dallas. They share a similar flexible approach to rhythm, and use the same opening motive, but otherwise are not the same piece at all.

recorded by Matthew Nelson, clarinet on his CD, Meditations and Tributes: Works for Solo Clarinet