Mephisto at the Carnival
Bass clarinet & marimba
Year of composition
Mephisto at the Carnival imagines Mephistopheles (of Faustian bargain fame) rampaging through crowded Carnival festivities. Drawing on the bass clarinet and marimba's proclivity for trickery, the piece progresses through three facets of the demon: the charlatan, leaping wildly about through close canons between the two instruments; the dealmaker, portrayed in snaky clarinet lines; and the outcast, doomed in anguish to his own personal Hell. At the piece's denouement, Mephisto's laughter upon striking a deal can be heard over a habanera beat.
Mephisto at the Carnival was written for and premiered by Transient Canvas at the Vienna Summer Music Festival, Vienna, Austria, July 2023.