Fugue in D-major, BWV 532, by J. S. Bach
Transcribed for Woodwind Quartet by John W. Pratt
Score and Parts, PDF $25.00
Among the big Bach organ fugues, BWV 532 is unusually well suited to woodwind quartet. Written during Bach's early, carefree Weimar period (only four children to support), it is high-spirited and even witty. It benefits from having a separate sonority for each voice, especially when the countersubject interjects a perky comment in the subject's empty space. It has rapid passage work throughout, almost suggesting Mendelssohn — but his chamber music, not his organ music!
The woodwind quartet arrangement (for flute, oboe, B-flat clarinet, and bassoon) preserves Bach's four voices almost exactly. Click to preview p2 of the score for Bach's Fugue in D major for woodwind quartet.
Score, 11 pages; Parts, 20 pages; Total, 34 pages.
Transcribed for Woodwind Quintet by John W. Pratt, PDF $16.00
Though written for keyboard, this Prelude and Fugue from Book I of Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier is wonderfully adaptable to an instrumental quintet. The Prelude, with its serene harmonic pacing, reveals an almost Schubertian sublime beauty, and the magical counterpoint of the five-part fugue emerges crystal-clear. The challenge for the players, as well as the pleasure, lies in ensemble achievements, not technical difficulties in individual parts. Scored for Flute, Oboe, B-flat Clarinet, Horn, and Bassoon, with an alternate part for Alto Flute in place of Oboe. Click to preview p1 of the score for the Bach Prelude and Fugue for woodwind quintet Prelude and Fugue for woodwind quintet.
Score, 6 pages; Parts, 2 pages each for Flute, Oboe (plus alternate Alto Flute), Clarinet, Horn, and Bassoon; Total, 20 pages.
Two Songs, Op.91, by Johannes Brahms
Transcribed for Clarinet by John W. Pratt (part originally for viola)
Clarinet Part, PDF $5.99
The two chamber music songs of Brahms' Zwei Gesänge, Op.91 were composed specifically for his dear friends, the violinist/violist Joseph Joachim and the mezzo-soprano Amalie Schneeweiss, who were married in 1863. The songs (for alto, viola, and piano) were written over 20 years apart, but Brahms published them together as Op.91 in 1884.
"Gestillte Sehnsucht", which appears first in the Op.91 pairing, was actually written second, in 1884. The song sets the text of the poem by Friedrich Rückert (1788-1866). "Gestillte Sehnsucht" is a nature poem, filled with images of forests at sunset, gentle breezes, and twittering birds. Rückert is famous not only for his exquisite poems themselves but also for the great inspiration his work provided to numerous prominent composers, in addition to Brahms. "Geistliches Wiegenlied" (Sacred Cradle Song) was first composed in 1863-1864, and later revised. The viola opens with the melody of the medieval Christmas carol "Joseph, lieber Joseph mein." The singer has her own variation of the melody, and enters after the first stanza of the viola's carol. The song is a beautiful cradle-rocking lullaby, in 6/8 time.
It is said that the viola was Brahms' favorite stringed instrument, and the composer gave the viola a major role in both of these songs, allowing it to open both pieces before the singer enters. Clarinetists have long coveted these viola parts, and various performances have provided clear evidence that a successful outcome can be achieved with the substitution of a clarinet for the viola in Op.91. So when a clarinetist friend of ours asked us to create a transcription for him, we gladly obliged. Our edition of the clarinet part adapts the first song, "Gestillte Sehnsucht", for clarinet in A, and the second, "Geistliches Wiegenlied", for clarinet in Bb. The original piano score and voice part are in the public domain, readily available as free PDF downloads from IMSLP.org.
Clarinet part, 4 pages; Total, 8 pages.
Sonatina, Op.100, by Antonín Dvořák
Transcribed for Clarinet in A (and Piano) by J.W.Pratt and C.A.Vater
A-Clarinet Part, PDF $11.99
From 1892 to 1895, Czech composer Antonin Dvorak (1841-1904) was in the United States, serving as the director of the National Conservatory of Music in New York City. He wrote his Sonatina in G major (Opus 100, B. 183) for violin and piano in 1893, and in some ways it reminds us of his triumphant Symphony No. 9, "From the New World", which was composed the same year. The Sonatina was written for and dedicated to Dvořák's own children. It has an average duration of 20 minutes and consists of four movements: I. Allegro risoluto; II. Larghetto (Indian Lament); III. Scherzo. Molto vivace; and IV. Finale. Allegro.
In transcribing this popular work for clarinet, we have incorporated several changes in the part to account for sonic differences between the clarinet and the violin. In so doing, every effort has been made to maintain the spirit and character of the original composition. In places the New World feel is even stronger with a wind instrument. We provide here our transcribed A-clarinet part only; Dvořák's original piano part works well with the new clarinet part, and the score for violin and piano is readily available in the public domain as a free pdf download from imslp.org.
A-Clarinet Part, 11 pages; Total, 14 pages.
Na Rua dos Meus Ciúmes, Traditional Fado
Arranged for Woodwind Quintet by Antonio F. Figueiredo
Parts and Score, PDF $10.00
Na Rua Dos Meus Ciúmes is a traditional Portugese fado, still highly popular among recording artists today. This passionate love song tells the story of the intense jealousy experienced by a girl upon seeing her lover pass by with another woman on the street near her home. Though her pain is palpable, the girl is proud and determined to endure her suffering resolutely and without tears.
Antonio Figueiredo was born in the Azores, Portugal, and now resides in Massachusetts. He grew up listening to (and falling in love with) fado music, with all its romance and passion, and its timeless themes of love, loss, jealousy, poverty, and the sea. Figueiredo is a bassoonist who plays regularly in various orchestras and chamber music groups in the Boston area. He enjoys arranging folk tunes for woodwind quintet, and he created this delightful and engaging arrangement of Na Rua Dos Meus Ciúmes for one of his own groups. The piece is scored for flute, oboe, clarinet in B-flat, horn in F, and bassoon. Click to preview p1 of the score.
Score, 5 pages; Parts, 1 page each; Total, 12 pages.