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NUBILARIA

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Code: CVLD209

Author: A A V V
Performer: NUBILARIA CLARINET ENSEMBLE
Duration: 63:02
Support: cd
Original compositions by G. Greshwin, A. Piazzolla, P. Swerts, E. Grieg, C. McAlister, M. De Falla, B. Bartok, A. J. Ellis/J. Pastorius. Arrangements by S. Bergamini, G. Forghieri.
Nubilaria Clarinet Ensemble: G. Forghieri clarinet, eb clarinet; M. Rossi clarinet; G. Formicola clarinet; A. Bondioli clarinet; L.Sacchetti clarinet; C. Calzolari clarinet; M. Fiorini clarinet, alto clarinet; A. Ponzi clarinet, alto clarinet, bass clarinet; S. Bergamini bass clarinet.
24bit/88.2 kHz original recording made at MagisterAreaStudios, Preganziol, Italy on January 8, 9, 2011. 

The Nubilaria Clarinet Ensemble is a “clarinet choir”, an ensemble esclusively formed by instruments of the clarinet family. 
This is an extremely versatile ensemble, second in this only to the symphony orchestra, and its sound may resemble that of the organ; the actual personnel can be very varied, ranging from a minimum of five players to an indefinite maximum, there have actually been groups of more than 70 players. Thus, the clarinet choir can easily be considered the woodwind equivalent of the string orchestra.
The original repertoire for this kind of ensemble was virtually nonexistent until the second half of the twentieth century, but its versatility has for a long made it a useful ensemble for transcribing any piece of music from any medium, from the symphony orchestra to piano solo, from the string quartet to any woodwind ensemble. Percy Grainger, the Australian composer, was very attracted to the art of arranging for clarinet choir, and produced many beautiful transcriptions of compositions by J.S. Bach, Josquin des Pres, Alessandro Scarlatti and many others during his career. The golden age of the clarinet choir tstarted around 1950: many ensembles have been created within all the major educational institutions of the United States and many important composers that were working there started writing original compositions and new transcriptions, founding on them a relevant part of their teaching activities.
Today there are hundreds of active clarinet choirs all over the world, but their existence in Italy is still very limited, in fact there are very few of them in this country, and our ensemble is probably the only permanent one. In this album we use an Eb Clarinet, seven Bb Clarinets, two Eb Alto Clarinets and two Bb Bass Clarinets, in various combinations.
So, why did we start a clarinet choir? The main reason is very simple: because it’s a lot of fun! Furthemore, the clarinet choir combines both the play and didactic capacities of the wind band, a very widespread popular ensemble in Italy, with the musical quality that only the best orchestras and chamber ensembles can reach. With the attention to details that is our goal, we give new life and color to a repertoire otherwise very standardized. Therefore Stefano Bergamini and Giuliano Forghieri have written and are writing many new arrangements of important pieces from the classical and popular repertoire. Recently the first composition specially written for us has arrived, “In a Clearing” by the American composer Clark McAlister, which is included in this album.
Our group proposes a musical vision that is similar to the best amateurism of the nineteenth century, without limiting itself to the music of that period. In other words we are trying to realize our need of making music (or maybe, in John Cage’s words, of “freeing sound”) through the search for beauty and breaking down the barriers between the genres, as the program of this album tries to demonstrate, going from swing music to contemporary classical, from tango to romantic, from funky/jazz to Klezmer. We are steadily working to extend our repertoire, which includes more than one hundred pieces already. 
Finally, a few words about our name: Nubilaria is the ancient Latin name of Novellara, the small city near Reggio Emilia where our group was formed in 2005 among the activities of the cultural association “Lo Schiaccianoci” (www.schiaccianoci.org), a name that is probably related to the fogs that characterize this geographical zone. However, we like to think our name is simply the juxtaposition of nubi (clouds) and aria (air), indicating something that gathers metaphorically the meanings of dreams, perpetual motion and the sounds produced by our instruments.

    We came so far for beauty, we left so much behind (Leonard Cohen)

Giuliano Forghieri
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