Aaron Copland's Clarinet Concerto (also referred to as the Concerto for clarinet, strings and harp) was written between 1947 and 1949, although a first version was available in 1948. The concerto was later choreographed by Jerome Robbins for the ballet Pied Piper (1951).
The renowned jazz clarinetist Benny Goodman asked Copland to compose a work for him. The result was a two-movement concerto: the first section is one of Copland's most lyrical and melodious creations; the second is in an all-out jazzy style replete with a glissando or jazz \"smear\" at the end. The movements are connected by a cadenza for the soloist. Benny Goodman said in an interview, \"I always felt good about that commission and about playing the Concerto with Aaron conducting.\" Since then, many of the foremost clarinetists worldwide have performed the piece.-Vivian Perlis, 1998
One of the misconceptions about the works written for Goodman, is that because Benny was famous as a jazz player therefore the works must be “jazzy.” In the 1920s, many composers, including Copland, were incorporating jazz elements into classical works as this was all the rage. By 1927, however, Copland abandoned the use of jazz elements in his works. When he completed the Concerto in 1948, it was two decades later and while he certainly took some of Benny’s style (and limitations) into consideration in writing the work, it is most definitely not a “jazz” concerto for clarinet as some misguided modern interpretations have led people to believe. No more so than the Hindemith Concerto, the Milhaud Concerto, or the Bartok Contrasts for that matter. 153554b96e