“Pssst… Hey buddy–wanna buy a bridge?… No? Well, how about a Clarinet Concerto, then?”
As most of us know, the Brooklyn Bridge is not for sale, but this New York icon has reputedly been sold to many unsuspecting visitors. After its opening in 1883, Harper's Monthly wrote, "The wise man will not cross the bridge in five minutes, nor in twenty, [but] will linger to get the good of the splendid view about him." The American composer Michael Daugherty did just that, and came up with a concerto for clarinet and wind ensemble that premiered in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and then, on today’s date, in 2005 was performed at New York’s Carnegie Hall.
“Like the four cables of webs of wire and steel that hold the Brooklyn Bridge together,” says Daugherty, “my ode to this cultural icon [in] four movements: East (Brooklyn and Brooklyn Heights); South (Statue of Liberty); West (Wall Street and the lower Manhattan skyline); and North (Empire State Building, Chrysler Building, and Rockefeller Center). In the final movement, I imagine Artie Shaw, the great jazz swing clarinetist of the 1940s, performing in the once glorious Rainbow Room on the sixty-fifth floor of the Rockefeller Center.”
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