1. Introduction; 2. Rhapsody; 3. Meditation (with bass-clarinet).

  • Year of composition: 2011/12
  • Work category: Clarinet and orchestra
  • Dedication: Karin Dornbusch
    In memory of my father and conductor Gunnar Staern (1922 – 2011)
  • First performed: February 16th 2012,
    Konserthuset De Geer Hallen, Norrköping
    Karin Dornbusch, clarinet
    Norrköping Symphony Orchestra
    Stefan Solyom, conductor
  • Duration: Approx. 30-40 min


2*2*3*2* 4231 12 11 clarinet solo str.

Location for score and part material

Gehrmans Musikförlag AB

Description of work

A concerto in three movements that is a "symphonic concerto" with episodes like a music drama without stage/screen.



Work comment

Writing for the clarinet and bass clarinet also is a challenge but also there are fantastic possibilities available that has affected work on the solo part and orchestration and vice versa.
The origins of this concerto and its title refers to "an artists' worried souls in an industrial and harsh dystopian society". The music conveys curiosity, spontaneity, playfulness, violence, hard decisions, hopelessness and ultimately its downfall! There is also a sharp criticism of the closures of well-established company that quickly builds up and eventually dismantled because of its time of decadence.
There is a narrative behind the music but the composer has chosen to tell it in the music rather than literally describing exactly what happens in the musical events but want to give freedom to the listener for their imagination.

First movement Introduction – has a sad and searching character as if you were in a fog. The clarinet is expressed in the score "espressivo con melancolia" (expressive of melancholy) and the orchestra is always restrained by then erupts in a huge roar. Clarinet becomes hysterical, and this leads to a dizzying cadenza with the orchestra's clarinets and which eventually fades the kit.

Second movement Rhapsody – takes up material from the first movement, which then worked freely with different expressions as well as comic absurdity, tough move, disparate emotions, mechanical rhythm "Come un 'Robotnik' (Russian term for automatons). This leads to a "fight" between soloist and orchestra that subsequently leads to a collective "marcia meccanico" (mechanic march) where everyone is forced to work on at a rapid pace and scale.

Third movement Meditation – starting with a fast collapse to then as a phoenix from the ashes rises from the deep bass-clarinet and reflect back toward the previous rates. This builds up to a pounding orchestral interludes. This leads to a short solo cadenza and then to an orchestral "total chaos" that ends with an almost voiceless coda.
This piece is composed in close collaboration with soloist Karin Dornbusch during working time have shared ideas and suggestions for changes in the solo part.

Worried Souls is dedicated to the memory of my father Gunnar Staern who passed away during the composition process.