Premieres for Clarinet

William Bolcom, Morton Gould, Evan Hause, Alan Shulman, Robert Starer

MAUREEN HURD, clarinet
Blair Mcmillen, Barbara González-Palmer & Curtis Macomber, Piano



All of the works on this CD are premiere recordings of compositions written in the 20th and 21st centuries by American composers. Three of the works were written by my husband, Evan Hause; two are compositions by one of America’s foremost living composers (and one of Hause’s former teachers), William Bolcom; two are works written for Benny Goodman (Rendezvous by Alan Shulman and Recovery Music by Morton Gould); and one composition is by Robert Starer, a poignant work I chanced upon. While the Shulman and Starer works were originally written for clarinet and strings, I found the composers’ versions for clarinet and piano engaging, beautiful, and deserving of performance and recording. The subject of Benny Goodman’s classical career and commissions has been an area of performance and research interest for me for many years. For nearly half a century, Goodman performed classical music as well as jazz, becoming the first successful jazz-to- classical crossover artist, playing works from the standard clarinet literature as well as works he commissioned. Perhaps the most famous commissions were Contrasts by Béla Bartók and the concertos by Copland and Hindemith, but at least fifteen works were composed for him either by commission or other arrangements.

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Maureen Hurd has appeared in concerts throughout Europe, Asia, and North America. Ms. Hurd was a featured performer at the 2007 and 2005 International Clarinet Association (ICA) ClarinetFests® in Vancouver and Tokyo, and has performed at New York’s Merkin Hall, Alice Tully Hall, and Carnegie Hall, and with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. She earned graduate degrees including a DMA from the Yale School of Music where she studied with David Shifrin and Charles Neidich and worked with materials in the Benny Goodman Papers of the Irving S. Gilmore Music Library. Her Goodman research has also taken her to the Library of Congress, Morgan Library, and New York Public Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center where in 2007 she gave a lecture-recital featuring works from the Library’s Benny Goodman Collection. A native Iowan, she earned the Bachelor of Music degree at Iowa State University as a student of Joseph Messenger and has been teaching clarinet at the Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University, since 2002, serving as Chair of Woodwinds since 2005. She is a Conn-Selmer Artist, playing Selmer Paris Signature B-flat and A soprano clarinets and a Selmer Paris Recital E-flat clarinet.


William Bolcom (b.1938)
LITTLE SUITE OF FOUR DANCES (1984) for E-flat Clarinet and Piano

Morton Gould (1913-1996)
Greeting - Meditation - Bounce

Evan Hause (b.1967)
SPELUNK (2003)
SUNKEN CITY (1992/2009)

Alan Shulman (1915-2002)

Robert Starer (1924-2001)
ELEGY (1985)

MSR Classics