© Henri SELMER; Paris_Laetitia Lecuyer

Haruyo Nishizawa, Clarinetist of Tokyo Sinfonietta in dialogue with peermusic classical Europe (PC) about the world premiere of the Clarinet Concertino by French composer Jean-Louis Agobet.

PC: How did you get in contact with Agobet and his music?

In 2008 I premiered his "Sectio” in Paris. It has a very difficult solo passage for the clarinet and Mr. Agobet seemed to be satisfied with my performance, so he proposed to compose a new clarinet work for me. He also comes frequently to Japan.

PC: How would you describe the piece in musical terms?

To my mind this is really “contemporary music”, meaning a kind of projection of our lifestyle in the year 2012. And as you know, the concert repertoire for the clarinet is not very large - Mozart, Weber… we always wait for the birth of a new work for this instrument. This concerto should be played by a wide-range of clarinetists: I find this work is very important to add richness to the repertoire. It is not an easy piece, but I am sure that it is for all professional clarinetists possible to perform.

I know Jean-Louis Agobet for almost ten years now, his very good character and humanity, and also his very deep and intelligent approach to music. It is not too much "contemporary music" - In good terms, it is easy to hear.

PC: How do you think the audience will react? You are premiering it in Paris and Tokyo – do you think there are differences in adaption by the audiences?

I think there is no gap between the two cities; both Paris and Tokyo are very open to adapt new works. Anyway, to do a world premiere is so fantastic and so dangerous!

PC: How is musical life in Japan today?

As you know, the occidental music is not our proper culture, so especially after the catastrophe, I do not believe that there is a necessity to hear European classical music for Japanese people if the quality is not very high. But the (occidental) music is one of our common languages; there are no borders in human mind, so we should keep this beauty of music. In Japan now, the aim of our life is to live in safety. But in Japanese traditions, we always find ways of recovering from catastrophes. I can say, I’m an optimist, and I should be also an optimist to make a real recovery from this very sad event in Japan. I believe in the power of us.

PC: Would you be so kind as to spontaneously finish the sentence: I perform Agobet because…

I perform Agobet because I like this piece very much and I'd like other clarinetists to get known of it! And I appreciate Mr. Agobet’s encouragement to Japanese musicians.

PC: Many thanks, Haruyo Nishizawa!

Jean-Louis Agobet

Concertino for Clarinet
for clarinet and ensemble

(Commissioned by Radio France & Tokyo Sinfonietta)

World premiere: May, 12th 2012, Le Cent Quatre (Paris)
Japanese premiere: July, 6th 2012, Suntory Hall (Tokyo)

Haruyo Nishizawa, clarinet
Tokyo Sinfonietta
Conductor: Yasuaki Itakura