Molinos’ doctoral project includes a concert series and a thesis. His primary goal has been to delve deeper into the nature of the bass clarinet, which is no longer considered just as an auxiliary instrument within the clarinet family.
“On the contrary, the bass clarinet is viewed by contemporary composers as an instrument in its own right. It is, however, still not always very well known to audiences, especially in its role as a solo instrument”, Molinos explains.
New repertoire for clarinettists
At the heart of the project are five new pieces Molinos commissioned from Finnish composers Josué Moreno, Matthew Whittall, Mikko Hassinen and Lotta Wennäkoski. Besides being premiered during the concert series, they allowed him to bring into discussion a number of related topics including other pieces from the Finnish repertoire. The thesis presents an overall view of bass clarinet music composed in Finland, approached always from a performer’s point of view.
In his concert series, besides addressing Finnish music, Molinos also wanted to give Finnish audiences the possibility to experience new international pieces and composers that are more rarely heard in Finland.
“This combination of music from Finland and abroad enabled me to provide a broader context to the Finnish pieces presented in the concerts, and subsequently discussed in more detail in the thesis.”
Each concert of the series focused on one particular topic within the bass clarinet repertoire: music employing electronic media, duos with other instruments, bass clarinet and percussion, music for multiple bass clarinets, and music involving other artistic disciplines. Molinos approached the topics from many different angles, thus offering as broad a picture as possible of the modern bass clarinet.
Throughout his doctoral project Molinos provided both the audience of the concerts and the readers of the thesis with an important body of bass clarinet music, involving also a good number of composers from different generations and with a great diversity of styles and approaches towards the bass clarinet.
“Throughout my doctoral project I provided both the audience of my concerts and the readers of my thesis with an important body of bass clarinet music, involving also a good number of composers from different generations and with a great diversity of styles and approaches towards the bass clarinet. I just hope I have been able to transmit part of the excitement I felt during the creative process I went through when working with all this music, and that this artistic research will serve to raise awareness of the bass clarinet and its repertoire as a solo instrument, inspiring performers, composers, listeners and any bass clarinet enthusiast who would like to expand their knowledge about it with music coming from Finland.”
Public examination of the doctoral degree of Angel Molinos
2.12.2023 at 13, Camerata hall, Helsinki Music Centre
- Title of the doctoral project: The bass clarinet as a solo instrument. A focus on Finnish music
- The board which assessed the artistic demonstrations: Harri Mäki (chair), Veli-Matti Puumala, Asko Heiskanen, Ernesto Molinari, Mieko Kanno (additional members: Joonatan Rautiola, Timothy Ferchen, Mikko Raasakka)
- Examiner of the thesis: Hannu Pohjannoro
- Custos: Tuire Kuusi