program notes by composition > B > Black Dog

Black Dog

Scott McAllister

Black Dog is a rhapsody for solo clarinet. It is inspired by classic hard rock music, particularly the British heavy-metal rock group Led Zeppelin’s “Black Dog.” The clarinet takes the role of the lead singer in a hard rock band with its extreme range and emotions juxtaposed with pyrotechnic solos in true “Hendrix” fashion. The rhapsody begins with a long solo cadenza which introduces most of the material in the work. The middle section is a very slow, upward, “Stairway to Heaven” gesture. The last section concludes with a “head-banging” ostinato pattern that leads to the final fiery cadenza.

Scott McAllister (b.1969) is an American composer and clarinetist. Born in Vero Beach, FL, he received a PhD from Rice University and teaches at Baylor University in Waco, TX. . He is particularly noted for his pieces featuring clarinet, including “Black Dog,” “X Concerto” and “Freebirds.”

Last updated on March 24, 2017 by Palatine Concert Band