Performed By: Stefan Harg, clarinet; Katarine Strom-Harg, piano

Clarinet, piano

Duration: 7 minutes 30 seconds

Commissioned By:
Stefan Harg and Katarina Strom-Harg

July 2, 2002 by Stefan Harg, clarinet, and Katarina Strom-Harg, piano, at the International Clarinet Festival in Stockholm, Sweden

Available From:
Libby Larsen Publishing

Composer's Notes:
The term “licorice stick” is an American slang term for the clarinet developed during the heyday of big band clarinet playing in the 1930’s. It’s a delicious term, as elegant in its metaphor as it is playful in its imagery. I have felt for some time now that there are five Western European instruments that can be seen as cultural vehicles, successfully transforming European musical sensibilities into new forms of music developed in North America. These are the piano (ragtime, boogie, gospel), the clarinet (swing, big band, Dixieland), the saxophone (jazz, bee-bop, funk), the trumpet (hotclub-swing, ragtime, bee-bop, funk, jazz), and the guitar. I love these instruments, and strive to compose abstract musical compositions that study them as a solo voice, or in combinations. “Licorice Stick” relies heavily on musical imagery of the big-band and boogie era, by placing left-hand piano boogie patterns, and abstract references to boogie drumming prominently in the piano. Throughout the piece, the clarinet rides on top of the piano textures, breaking free from time to time for solo passages. “Licorice Stick” was commissioned by Stefan Harg and Katarina Strom-Harg, who premiered the piece at the International Clarinet Festival in Stockholm, Sweden, July 2, 2002.
— Libby Larsen
A recording of this work is also available on Licorice Stick:

Additional Information:
Recordings available: LICORICE STICK SONG WITHOUT WORDS MEPHISTO RAG DANCING SOLO SONGS FROM LETTERS SLANG "Licorice Stick - Clarinet Chamber Music of Libby Larsen" Stefan Harg, clarinet; Katarina Strom-Harg, piano Kathleen Roland-Silverstein, soprano; Asa Johansson, violin Rhode-Kil Records, 2002 (RK 1001) / fp music (CD 004)

Score Errata:
m. 49, clarinet part: the boxes that appear above the score should read "quarter = quarter"