Back when I still would call myself an active musician (I’m not really right now, unless you count the daily vocal/singing warmups I do), I played the clarinet.  I was never amazing, but I was pretty good.  As with my piano abilities (where I’d argue I had much more innate skill), I was much better at *saying something* with the music than I was with being a technical genius, but I had a lot of fun, and someday I’d like to get to play my clarinets again.

Anyway – my old lesson teacher, who is frequently made of awesome, and to whom I can credit a lot of my love for jazz music, sent me a note on Facebook with a link to a video.  His comment was “This is the sickest thing I’ve seen on clarinet in a long time”.  If it’s impressive to HIM?  It’s probably sick, especially since he usually reserves that kind of awe and amazement for the likes of the Eddie Daniel’s recording of the Brahms quintet (which is SICK).  So I clicked on it.

And my brain exploded.

I’ve always loved the ability of the clarinet to mimic a human voice.  You hear a little of that in this video (which is live, and therefore WAY more awesome than a studio recording) especially in the slower sections. His control of dynamics is phenomenal, his tone is freakishly consistent from the deep bottoms to the incredible highs (and yes, I think he MADE UP some of those notes.  geesh), and his technique is freaking unbelievable.  Not to mention that you get the feeling of laughing along with his playing.

Anyway – Mate Bekavac playing his own arrangement of music from George Bizet’s Carmen, for solo clarinet and orchestra – in the style of a Fantasy/Fantasie (very improvisational, cadenza like).

Totally awesometacular.

Part 1:

Part 2:

Carmen for Clarinet
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