“Persimmon” was written in Nishinomiya, Japan in 1992 while I was teaching at Kobe College. The influence of Japanese traditional music on this piece is, I think, very apparent. The work was commissioned by the Verdehr Trio. This live recording is of the premiere performance.
At times the violin invokes the spirit of the “shamisen” and the piano the “koto”. Most important, the clarinet is asked to become, especially in the lingering coda, a player of that almost metaphysical Japanese instrument, the “shakuhachi”.
Takahashi Atoda’s wonderful story “The Square Persimmon” served as an inspiration for my work. Atoda’s “Persimmon” is nostalgic and autumnal, and features a ghostly mix of things modern and ancient.
Smart, Gary, "Persimmon (Recording)" (1992). Music Faculty Publications. 49.
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