Saturday, 31 May 2008

Free recording of John Adams' "Gnarly Buttons"

Here is a piece of music that you can't miss. The piece for solo clarinet and chamber orchestra is in three movement. Beautiful and touching.

Please listen to Sean Osborne playing John Adams' Gnarly Buttons on Sean Osborne's home page.

Please go to John Adams' home page to read the composer notes about this piece.

Happy listening!

Friday, 2 May 2008

Free sheet music: Wagner's Shepherd song from Tristan and Isolde

At the beginning of the third act of Tristan and Isolde you can hear a beautiful and unforgettable solo, the Shepher's song played on "Corn Anglais". There is no orchestra, no singing, nothing but the musician (on stage, as explicitly noted by Wagner on the score) playing this magnificient piece of music.

It is slow and filled with incredible longing.

In my opinion it is very tough to render it on the clarinet as beautifully as it can be rendered on the corn anglais, mainly due to difficulty to make the perfect legato on the octave jump as corn anglais and oboes can. However it is a piece of music of such beauty that it will keep you entertained for a long time and will give you some hard time to get the perfect colour, intonation, sublime legato and staccato as it requires...

Here it is for you to enjoy:

Download Free sheet music for Wagner's Shepherd Song arranged for clarinet solo.

Happy playing!

Sunday, 30 March 2008

Free sheet music: Schubert Trio D471 for clarinet trio

Schubert's String Trio D.471 for violin, viola and cello in B flat major is an unfinished piece. Schubert seems to have composed only the first movement. It is a delightful piece that works very well with a clarinet trio (2 clarinets and a bass clarinet).

There are few tremolos, even though they are not fast ones, they are always a bit troublesome for the clarinet. I suggest to avoid playing too much staccato on those and just tongue lighly.

You can download here sibelius files, PDFs for score and parts and a midi file of the piece.

Download Free sheet music for Schubert Trio D.471 arranged for clarinet trio.

Enjoy it!

Saturday, 22 March 2008

Mozart: String quartet K464 for clarinet quartet

Mozart's string quartet k464 in A major is one of the six "Haydn quartets", full of intensity, pathos but also sense of humour. See wikipedia for more information on these beautiful quartets.
This transcription for clarinet quartet (3 Bb clarinets and one bass clarinet) originates from Oliver Seely's excellent original transcription for 4 clarinets. I am deeply grateful to Oliver who was so kind to send me the original files in a format compatible to Sibelius to make my work easier.

Compared to Oliver's transcription this transcription feature a bass clarinet and it is transposed down in G major (concert key of F major), avoiding need of transposing the first clarinet part one octave below to make it fit in the clarinet range, and also to keep harmony and distances between parts as in the original score.

You may use the included sibelius source files to transpose the quartet to A major (concert key G major), raising the level of technical difficulty but all parts will stay well within the normal clarinet range, and the quartet should sound slightly lighter than the proposed transcription.

Download free sheet music for Mozart's quartet K464 transcribed for clarinet quartet.

Happy playing!

Tuesday, 26 February 2008

Rachmaninoff's Vocalise for clarinet quartet

Rachmaninoff's vocalise No. 14 from opus 34 is a widely known piece. Romantic and beautiful and full of very dense and intricated harmonies. A joy to listen to but not always an easy piece to perform given its delicatness and complexity.

I made an arrangement for clarinet quartet (3 clarinets and a bass clarinet). It was not an easy task since the piano harmony is extremely dense and full of cromaticism which works well on the piano but requires some work with the balance on the clarinets. However I think it is a very nice piece to perform and once you have worked out all those chromatic passages and dissonances and understood them, it works well. Probably it will take a couple of repetitions (depending with your level and familiarity with late romantic chromaticism) before the music start to appears in its full beauty.

As usual I also include the Sibelius source file so that you can edit the score if you wish so. If you do it, please drop me a line and let me know. I am eager to listen and learn from your suggestions.

Download free sheet music for Rachmaninoff's vocalise for clarinet quartet

Happy playing!

Thursday, 14 February 2008

Bach Sarabande for Clarinet Solo

The Sarabande from the 5th sonata for cello suite is one of Bach's greatest masterpieces. The lines and the rhythmes are simple but at the same they create a complete universe. I could not withstand the urge to play this masterpiece on the clarinet.

As all pieces that have simplicity as one of their main strengths, it is very approachable technically but extremely hard to play from a musical point of view. In other words, a piece that you can carry with you and practice all your life without getting bored and without reaching perfection...

It is also a great study in legato and expressivity. The range of my transcription is E3 to G5 which means that you can play the repeats one octave up if you wish so, to make this piece a complete legato exercise over the whole clarinet range.

The ZIP file here below includes the piece as PDF, MIDI file, and source score in Sibelius format.

Download free sheet music for Bach Sarabande adapted to clarinet solo

Nice playing to you all!

Sunday, 10 February 2008

Clarinet tutorials by David Hattner

Under the curious name of AmericanClownAcademy you can find some recordings and tutorials for the clarinet. Among which a series of legato lessons by David Hattner. The series is made of 6 lessons of which 4 are available at time of writing. Even if the sound is not top quality these is undoubtetly an interesting tutorial.

I post here the first lesson on legato playing, to access the rest please follow this link:

Click here to watch the clarinet teaching material and recordings on YouTube

Thursday, 31 January 2008

Piano Accompaniment for Weber's Concerto Op. 73

I publish here the MP3 files of piano accompaniment for the first two movements of Weber's Concerto Op 73 in F-moll. It is recorded from my Electric Piano from a very high quality MIDI files with dynamic nuances, phrasing and pedal.

Download free MP3 files for piano accompaniment of Weber's Concerto No. 1 in f-moll

Enjoy it!

Sunday, 20 January 2008

"Duet for Solo Clarinet" by Steven Gerber

Steven Gerber's duet for solo clarinet is a very interesting piece. The idea of playing a duet on one clarinet (by alternating the 2 voices) is challenging. The piece uses standard clarinet technique (no multiphones).

Steven Gerber's web site with download link to PDF score and link to MP3 recording of his "Duet for Solo Clarinet".

On Steven Gerber's web site you can download the complete score as PDF and you can also follow a link to listen to a really excellent recording of the piece by Peter Furniss.

Sunday, 13 January 2008

A goldmine for clarinet sheet music

The website of Adriano Amore is a goldmine of clarinet sheet music. The site is in Italian and dedicated to the italian clarinet tradition of which Adriano is a recognized expert. However for those of you who cannot read italian, do not despair, on Adriano's website there is lots of sheet music to download and recordings to listen to.

The free section of his website provides free downloadable scores as a clarinet duet of Rossini, a sonata of Gherardeschi for clarinet trio, two scores for clarinet quartets of Giampieri and Monti, and a magnificient transcription of the ouverture of "La Traviata" of Verdi for clarinet ensemble. On this same page you will also find many more music scores for clarinet playing with other instruments.

One page is dedicated to pedagogical material ("didattica" in italian) with for instance lots of downloadable sheet music with orchestral passages.

One page is dedicated MIDI files ready to download and then under "Ascoltami" ("Listen to me") you can hear Adriano playing from his CD. Under spartiti (music scores) you can see some sample of few of the many historical scores that Adriano collected and that can be order in 2 DVDs for those of you interested and curious about the Italian clarinet tradition.

Saturday, 5 January 2008

Clarinet ensembles publishing music online

Webpages of clarinet ensembles sharing their own recordings online:

STARK QUARTET - Quartetto di clarinetti italiano
(Nice performance of "Largo al factotum" of Rossini)

(listen to the arrangement of the Preludio from the opera La Traviata!)

Do you have or know a clarinet ensemble with an homepage where you can listen to clarinet music? Post a comment or send an email and I'll add it to this post.

Thursday, 3 January 2008

Stanley Hasty: His Life and Teaching

The Florida State University College of Music is providing access to a treatise by Elizabeth Marie Gunlogson about Stanley Hasty, a very respected clarinetist and pedagog. The treatise includes a biography of Hasty and then lots of precious information about his teaching divided by subject.

A warmly suggest everyone to have a look at this work.

Stanley Hasty: His Life and His Teaching (PDF). The Florida State University College of Music.

A little excerpt with some basic notion articulation:
The tongue should release the note, not the air, and it should be abrupt so that there’s a definite “t” [sound with the] “tah.” Not “tee,” but “hhh-tah-tah-tah.” I’m keeping my throat as open as I can [using the “hhh”] and the tongue just touches the reed, but I do want that little “t”.

Wednesday, 2 January 2008

Statistical roundup of 2007

This blog was born the 9th November 2007. 2007 was quite a short year with just 53 days. Here are few statistical remarks on the blog for your curiosity:

  • 1534 different visits (an average of 30 days per day) made by 714 different individuals
  • Each visit lasted for an average of 3:05 minutes
  • Visitors were coming from 55 different countries, stretching from Eritrea to Latvia, from Iran to Mexico, from Barbados to South Korea... 41% of visits were from USA, 23% from Italy. Sweden, UK, Canada and Spain follow with percentage between 5% and 2%, and then France, the Netherlands, Japan, Brazil, Australia...
  • There were about 1200 registered downloads. The most downloaded file was Mozart K616, closely followed by the solo sonata of CPE Bach and the Andantino of Debussy.

Thanks to all of you and best wishes for a joyful 2008!