Ten Pieces for Clarinet and Piano


compiled and arranged by


“These transcriptions are works of art, all beautiful, musical and musicianly,
and are all worth playing or attempting to play.

The Schubert pieces glow with innocence, the Rachmaninov is wonderfully romantic,
and the Barlow Variations are a shameless exhibition of technical wizardry.”

André Previn

About the arrangements

Clarinet Cantilena introduces a new album of music I have devised for clarinetists of all abilities to play. The selections are personal choices, made almost entirely from vocal works that I believe to be particularly suitable for the characteristics of the clarinet in recital. Whilst the transcriptions are mostly straighforward, I have enlisted the help of Stephen Barlow in providing piano reductions of the orchestral material, and in creating an original set of variations on three themes from Verdi's La forza del destino.

La Colomba reconstructs an original seventeenth-century lute work by Jacques de Gallot that was later used by Respighi in his orchestral suite The Birds. The soprano arias from Mozart’ operas Zaïde and Die Zauberflöte, like the two Schubert lieder, offer obvious opportunities for instrumental expression. The added challenge is that of conveying the content of the original text. The ballet music of Schubert’s Rosamunde already favoured the clarinet: in this adaptation I have added further to its allocation of melodic content.

Arranging the slow movement of Rachmaninov’s Second Symphony for the use of the B-flat clarinet (with the subsequent transposition of piano accompaniment) allows the player without access to an A clarinet the chance to play this music. The composer’s Vocalise is a natural choice for transcription. In writing it for voice and piano, Rachmaninov gave the singer the option of choosing a vowel sound to sing throughout. It is no surprise that the “Vocalise” has been transcribed as a vehicle for virtually every instrument, voice type and combination thereof, as well as a challenge to the skill and the taste of the soloist.

Also transposed from A to B-flat clarinet are the selections from Verdi’s La forza del destino. They include the two prominent clarinet solos in the opera’s overture, as well as the solo in the third-act orchestral introduction to the tenor’s aria, “O tu che in seno agli angeli.” I asked Stephen Barlow to provide a fantasia on the three excerpts from Verdi’s score. He has freely recast them in throwback to the kind of brilliant solo instrumental “potpourri” that popularised operatic melodies in Verdi’s time.

Performance extracts
1. Jacques de Gallot: La Colomba
2. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Zaïde - "Ruhe Sanft, mein holdes Leben"
3. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Die Zauberflöte - "Ach ich fühl's"
4. Franz Schubert: An Die Musik D.547
5. Franz Schubert: Ständchen D.957
6. Franz Schubert: Rosamunde D.797
7. Sergei Rachmaninov: Vocalise Op. 34, No. 14
8. Sergei Rachmaninov: Adagio from Symphony No. 2 in E minor
9. Giuseppe Verdi: La forza del destino - Introduction and Entr'acte
10. Stephen Barlow: Three Variations on La forza del destino - Variation I
11. Stephen Barlow: Three Variations on La forza del destino - Variation II
12. Stephen Barlow: Three Variations on La forza del destino - Variation III
Edition info
Clarinet Cantilena, Ten Pieces for Clarinet and Piano
Piano part 44pp, clarinet 20pp including Introductions
Printed in Concert size (230x305)
Olin Rough Cream paper, 120gsm
Laminated cover 250gsm
Saddle stitched
ISMN 979-0-9002300-1-0
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