concert music for student and professional musicians:
Clarinet/Bass Clarinet Music
Solo clarinet - unaccompanied:
CANTICLES OF SAINT FRANCIS for solo clarinet by Howard J. Buss is a tribute St. Francis of Assisi, the venerated Catholic friar, preacher, founder of several Orders, and lover of animals and the environment. Canticles is in 4 movements, Prelude, Worldly Pleasures, Meditation, and A Blessed Legacy. It showcases the sonic beauty and technically agility of the clarinet. The character of the music ranges from soulful introspection to worldly exuberance. At the opening of the first movement and near the close of the last, sounds a four-note melodic fragment, G, F, D, and B, which is derived from St. Francis’ name at birth, Giovanni Francesco di Bernadone. This device is used sparingly so that when it does appear, it is given special prominence. Canticles of Saint Francis was composed during the autumn of 2012 and was commissioned by clarinetist Kathleen Jones for ClarinetFest 2013 in Assisi, Italy. (6’20”) Grade VI. B435 $8.95
Canticles of Saint Francis Sound Samples: Movement 1 excerpt.mp3; Movement 2 excerpt.mp3; Movement 3 excerpt.mp3; Movement 4 excerpt.mp3
LUNAR VISTAS (2005) for solo bass clarinet by Howard J. Buss, written for Edward Palanker (Baltimore Symphony), is cast in three colorful and picturesque movements: The Far Side, Eclipse, and Panorama. In the first movement forte melodic flourishes contrast with quiet phrases as to suggest the dramatic moonscape of the mysterious part of the moon only visible from spacecraft. Eclipse is animated, rhythmically intriguing, and suspenseful. The final movement, Panorama,is characterized by exciting, fiery sections juxtaposed with two short cadenza-like passages. Lunar Vistas received its premier performance on on October 9, 2005 by Mr. Palanker at An Die Musik in Baltimore, Maryland. This new and significant work is destined to become a staple in the repertoire for the bass clarinet. (7) Grade V-VI.
Lunar Vistas score sample: Movement 1.pdf (1 page, 88KB)
NOCTURNE (1982) for solo clarinet by Howard J. Buss. This incisive and sensitive work explores subtle changes of mood and color. Although emotions are relatively controlled in the context of the wide pitch and dynamic ranges, there are a few instances in which that control gives way to more animated and intense passages. Only towards the end of the work, in the Cadenza, is lyricism momentarily replaced by a fiery outburst. Nocturne concludes with a reflective and somewhat breathless version of the opening theme. (330) Grade IV-V.
SANTIAGO LEGEND (1996) for solo clarinet by Howard J. Buss this tribute to the world-renown Chilean clarinetist and instrument maker, Luis Rossi, was designed to showcase the expressive and technical capabilities of the distinct registers of the clarinet. Beautiful lyrical lines contrast with rhythmic and dramatic passages. If you are looking for an impressive unaccompanied piece for an important recital, audition, or just for the fun of it- this is it! (6) Grade V.
Santiago Legend Sound Samples: Excerpt 1.mp3 (722KB); Excerpt 2.mp3 (1.1MB); Excerpt 3 (1.2MB)
COMEDIE CHALUMEAU (1994) for
two B-flat clarinets by Randall Snyder was written as a wedding present for Laura and Brent Beech. This irreverent duo is
a 5-minute romp through intriguing argumentative counterpoint interrupted by humorous
quotes from the clarinet literature. The two friendly adversaries are presented with plenty of rhythmic and dynamic challenges. Comedie Chalumeau is both fun for the performers and the audience! (5) Grade V.
DIALOGUE (1981) for clarinet & piano by Howard J. Buss is a modern yet tonal sonata in three movements: Florida Bound, Forest Whispers and Rendezvous. Although the musical material and its treatment involves great contrasts, on close analysis one discovers the tightly knit organic unity of this work. Florida Bound begins with energetic statements in both instruments followed by a rousing section characterized by driving rhythms and soaring melodies. A beautiful, melodious central section gives way to an exciting, developmental passage followed by a recapitulation of the opening section. The movement culminates with an exhilarating and fiery coda. The second movement, Forest Whispers, commences with an arabesque melody played on the clarinet with a background of lush, sustained chords on the piano. The mood becomes reflective and the pianist shifts from the piano to provide a soft, shimmering background for a gentle and beautiful melody (based upon a bird call) played on the clarinet. The piano reenters with a colorful passage involving delicate pedal shading and is joined by the clarinet in a variation of the opening arabesque to close the movement. Rendezvous is a jubilant rondo distinguished by flowing melodies supported by a lively accompaniment. Embedded in the final movement are references to thematic material from the previous movements. (1330) Grade IV-V. Dialogue Sound Samples:
Excerpt, Movement 1.mp3 (874KB); Excerpt, Movement 2.mp3 (1.1MB); Excerpt, Movement 3.mp3 (1MB)
FELINITY by Howard Buss for clarinet & English horn or for two clarinets. Both versions are included with the published set. Cast in 3 colorful movements: Alfies Dance, Behind the Cryptic Gaze , and Intrigues, the character of this entertaining work is greatly influenced by the feline qualities of grace, sleekness, stealth, and playfulness. (8) Grade V. Felinity for English horn & clarinet score samples (transposed score):
Excerpt, Movement 1.pdf (2 pages); Excerpt, Movement 2.pdf (2 pages); Excerpt, Movement 3.pdf (2 pages)
Felinity for two clarinets score samples (transposed score): Excerpt, Movement 1.pdf (2 pages); Excerpt, Movement 2.pdf (2 pages); Excerpt, Movement 3.pdf (2 pages)
Felinity for English horn & clarinet sound samples: Excerpt Movement 1.mp3 (803KB); Excerpt Movement 2.mp3 (905KB); Excerpt Movement 3.mp3 (889KB)
FOUR MINIATURES (2011) for clarinet & bass clarinet (playable by 2 soprano clarinets) by Howard J. Buss is a vibrant and colorful sonatina This picturesque composition is divided into 4 movements: Aggressive, Contemplative, Buoyant, and Energetic. The playful, yet sophisticated character of the music makes this an entertaining, audience-friendly work. (9’20”) Grade V.
THE FROG, HE FLY...ALMOST (2000) for high voice (soprano or tenor) and clarinet by Roger C. Vogel is an entertaining and humorous look at the amazing amphibian. The vocal range is c# (below the treble staff) to Bb above the staff. A great addition to any recital. (5) Grade V. Text: The Frog, He Fly...Almost (Anonymous)
What a wonderful bird the frog are--
When he stand he sit almost;
When he hop, he fly almost.
He aint got no sense hardly;
He aint got no tail hardly either.
When he sit, he sit on what he aint got almost.
IMPROMPTU (1994) for clarinet (or soprano saxophone) and marimba by Howard J. Buss is characterized by driving rhythms and ornate melodic lines. The opening motives in both parts undergo almost continuous development throughout the work, often giving the music a spontaneous, improvisatory feel. At times the music has a playful, almost frolicking quality. At other times mysterious and introspective passages contrast with aggressive, intense sections to create an atmosphere of moodiness. The lyrical melodies and interesting timbral contrasts between the instruments, combine with the tonal scheme of the music to make a sophisticated, yet audience-friendly, concert work. Two mallet technique is prominent in the marimba part during the more intricate solo passages and there is some use of three and four mallets in those sections where chordal writing occurs. It is frequently A very accessible and enjoyable work. - Percussive Notes. (6) Grade V.
Impromptu Sound Samples (played on soprano sax): Excerpt 1.mp3 (1MB); Excerpt 2.mp3 (1MB)
LEGACY OF ANCIENT SEAS for clarinet & piano by Howard Buss is a picturesque and colorful sonatina inspired by the dramatic desert landscapes of the American West. It is written in four movements: Pinnacles and Spires Sound Sample 1.mp3 (868K), The Ponderosa Forest Sound Sample 2.mp3 (1MB), Flight of the Raven Sound Sample 3.mp3 (768K), and Salt Lake City Escapade Sound Sample 4.mp3 (1MB). Commissioned for John Masserini and ClarinetFest 2003. (830) Grade V.
MYTHIC QUEST (2000) for flute & clarinet by Roger C. Vogel. In mythology there are numerous stories of quests. Heroes such as Perseus, Hercules, Theseus, Jason, and others undertook missions of great importance during which they risked their lives, encountered strange creatures, and had many adventures. Mythic Quest seeks to capture the urgency, excitement,, and drama of such an ancient journey. The flute and clarinet, equal partners, pursue each other with animated motives throughout the musical adventure. This exciting work contains three main sections: a fast, vigorous opening gives way to a more relaxed mood before the quest is concluded with a return to an increasingly resolute version of the opening ideas. A great recital piece! (9) Grade IV-V.
NIGHTPIECE (1996) for clarinet and piano by David Alpher suggests the duality of the dark hours: One aspect of night is lyrical, romantic, yearning and warm. The other aspect is furtive, urban, on-the-edge and cool. The composer states, No other instrument can sound both warm and cool as convincingly as the clarinet. This is an exquisite recital piece. (630) Grade V.
POLEMICS (1990) for clarinet & piano in 4 short and incisive movements by Randall Snyder derives its title from the adversarial and argumentative relationship between the clarinet and piano, each trying to win over the other to its point of view. The angular rhythms and detailed dynamics create a spiky, hard-edged style. It has been recorded by clarinetist John Russo and pianist Lydia Walton Ignacio on the CD Masterworks for Clarinet and Piano (CRS - 9561). (5) Grade V. Polemics Sound Samples:
Movement 1 Sample.mp3 (794K) Movement 2 Sample.mp3 (728K) Movement 3 Sample.mp3 (673K)
Movement 4 Sample.mp3 (976K)
POSTCARDS FROM VIENNA (1998) for clarinet & piano by Howard J. Buss was commissioned for and premiered at ClarinetFest 1998 by Kathleen Gardiner (Buffalo Philharmonic). It is cast in 4 picturesque movements: Around the Ring, Hundertwasser House - In Transit, Tombs of Honor, and Street Scenes, and was inspired by s 1996 visit to Vienna. The first movement, Around the Ring, is suggestive of the energy and excitement of traveling on the Ring, a major transportation artery that loops around the city center. The music is characterized by driving rhythms and jazzy melodic flourishes. The second movement is divided into 2 main sections: Hundertwasser House is a tribute to the esteemed Viennese artist, Hundertwasser. The title refers specifically to the imaginative apartment house designed by this innovative artist whose colorful paintings are displayed in the adjacent Kunsthaus Wien. In Transit is reminiscent of a short hop on the Underground (subway). Tombs of Honor, the third movement, was inspired by the beautiful and stately cemetery, Zentralfriedhof, in which many great musicians from Vienna's glorious past are buried next to one another- Beethoven, Brahms, Johann Strauss, Hugo Wolf, Schubert, and the clarinetist Mühlfeld to name a few. The capricious final movement, Street Scenes, was inspired by the happenings on the bustling Kärtnerstrasse, a busy pedestrian walkway lined with a great variety of shops and frequented by street musicians and other artists. Included are references to segments of themes by various Viennese composers. At times these excerpts are tossed about in a kaleidoscopic manner. On other occasions they serve as the basis for organic musical development, such as when a metrically altered theme from the first Brahms Clarinet Sonata becomes the subject of a fugue. This significant work deserves to be played by all serious clarinetists! Grade V. (13)
Postcards from Vienna Sound Samples: Excerpt, Movement 1.mp3 (892KB); Excerpt, Movement 2A.mp3 (1MB);
Excerpt, Movement 2B.mp3 (489KB); Excerpt, Movement 3.mp3 (980KB);
Excerpt, Movement 4A.mp3 (1.1MB); Excerpt, Movement 4B.mp3 (623KB)
SEASCAPE (1991) for clarinet & piano by Zack Browning.This engaging composition suggests images of the power, grandeur, and mystery of the sea. Intriguing musical development progresses throughout the work on currents of minimalism creating at times an hypnotic effect. This is a work every serious clarinetist should program. (10) Grade V.
Seascape Sound Samples: Excerpt 1.mp3 (1.2MB); Excerpt 2.mp3 (911KB); Excerpt 3.mp3 (971KB)
SKYLINES (2002) for clarinet & piano by Howard Buss. Cast in two powerful and engaging movements, it is a picturesque musical urban portrait. Skylines is loosely programmatic in that no specific city is depicted; rather, the composer captures, in a broad manner, the essence of the big city spectacle. The lyrical and majestic first movement, Panorama, suggests the expansive grandeur of cityscape. The second, Amid the Spires, is hugely influenced by jazz and captures the dynamic energy of life on the busy streets. (1030) Grade V.
Skylines for clarinet & piano score samples (score in C):
Excerpt, Movement 1.pdf (3 pages, 384KB); Excerpt, Movement 2.pdf (4 pages, 576KB)
THREE DANCES for clarinet & trombone (or bassoon) by Thomas Zugger in 3 movements : Jazz Waltz, Slow Dance, and Irish Jig. In this charming and entertaining work the composer envisions two people dancing with one another. The "lead" in each dance is shared in alternation between the two instrumentalists. The first movement, Jazz Waltz, is in ABA form with the middle section being a waltz in 4/4. The melody is introduced by the bassoon (or trombone) and is passed back and forth throughout. In the enchanting second movement, Slow Dance, the musical material undergoes continuous development with the equality of the parts being paramount. The energetic final movement, Irish Jig, opens with an intriguing mixed meter section which leads to the rousing jig. It concludes with an exciting and frenzied accelerando and fugue. This work is fun to perform and has a great audience appeal! The clarinet and trombone version is recorded on the CD Dances and Dreams [Mark Records 8290-MCD] (1130) Grade IV.
Three Dances sound samples: Excerpt, Movement 1.mp3 (1.1MB); Excerpt, Movement 2.mp3 (868KB):
Movement 3.mp3 (1 MB)
THREE JAZZICALS (2009) for Bb clarinet and tuba by Howard J. Buss is dedicated to tubist Jay Hunsberger. This colorful composition is cast in 3 movements - To Bop or Not to Bop, Sounds from the Cool Smoke, and Hotish. The composer states, “ In Three Jazzicals it was not my aim to create a specific hybrid style by synthesizing jazz and modern classical music; rather, my intent was to systematically strip away the fundamental elements of jazz to explore at what point the music ceases being jazz and becomes classical. The style of Three Jazzicals is the resultant this procedure. It is understood that because the subject of what constitutes jazz (there are so many kinds) is so complex, depending upon the background and views of the listener, Three Jazzicals will sound jazzy (in varying degrees) to most, and mostly classical to some.” The instruments employed have been traditionally used in jazz. However, stripped away is the rhythm section; traditional chord progressions; melodic, rhythmic and formal clichés; and improvisation. Among the elements kept is the allowance for personal expression through each player’s tone, inflections, and articulations. The players are specifically asked not to swing at any time. (12’) Grade VI.
TIME CAPSULE (1996) by Howard J. Buss is an entertaining sonatina in 4 movements: Daybreak, Chorale, Rendezvous, and Homeward Bound and is both fun to play and listen to. The first movement has a frolicking and optimistic character. Chorale breaks with the traditional structure of the chorale in that each phrase gets a measure longer. The harmonies of the second movement contain some spicy dissonances as well. Rendezvous, is in a lilting 6/8 and really "works up a lather" as it progresses to an exciting climax. The final movement, Homeward Bound, begins with a fanfare-like passage that gives way to a spirited dance characterized by an intriguing interplay between the two instruments. (7) Grade III-IV. Time Capsule for flute & clarinet sound samples: Excerpt, Movement 1.mp3 (966KB); Excerpt, Movement 2.mp3 (1019KB);
Excerpt, Movement 3.mp3 (829KB); Excerpt, Movement 4.mp3 (1.1MB)
TWIN MOONS (1997) for flute & clarinet by Roger C. Vogel. The title refers to the moons of Mars, Phobos and Deimos, which are quite different in appearance and the speed of their orbits. Phobos is rugged with many large impact craters and completes its orbit in only 7 hours. Deimos is smooth and takes almost 30 hours to orbit Mars.This composition is suggestive of the interweaving paths of these two celestial bodies as seen from the surface of Mars. Sound Sample.mp3 (1.1MB) (6) Grade IV.
TWO TO TANGO (2012) for clarinet & horn by Roger Vogel in 5 movements: Tango 1, Foxtrot, Quick Step, Waltz, and Tango 2. This charming suite of dances is a significant concert work written in an accessible modern style. The movements may be played individually, or any grouping. (18’) Grade V.
THE WORLD WITHIN (1999) for clarinet & cello by Howard J. Buss. In recent years this American composer has written a number of works which address the human condition in our rapidly changing, technology-laden society. The World Within is a musical metaphor reflecting an individual's yearning to be reconnected with his spiritual past while at the same time endeavoring to be effective in business and social interactions in the modern day world. While writing this work Buss was fascinated by how an acquaintance was resolving this dichotomy in his own life. Six days a week he works 10-hour days as a businessman, immersed in, and sometimes overwhelmed by, the fast-paced world of business. Yet without exception, he spends the entire day every Saturday at his Synagogue in worship, studying the Talmud, following ancient rituals, and reverently assisting the Rabbi in his sacred duties. In this work the 2 worlds, that of one's modern secular existence and that of one's spiritual heritage, are represented musically by two markedly different compositional procedures. The former is represented with a highly-structured, lyrical 12-tone style. The latter is more spontaneous and is influenced by Jewish musical idioms. In the slow, mysterious opening section these styles are juxtaposed; however, as the composition develops they become synthesized in a thoroughly integrated manner. This is an significant work that is meaningful to perform, and enjoyable (an thought-provoking) to listen to. (10)
The World Within Sound Samples:
Excerpt 1.mp3 (917KB); Excerpt 2.mp3 (922KB); Excerpt 3.mp3 (1.1MB)
The World Within was written for clarinetist Keith Koons, and cellist, Melissa Kraut. It was premiered by these artists on February 6, 2000 at the University of Central Florida in Orlando.
AQUARIUS (2013) for three clarinets (A bass clarinet part is included as an alternative to the third clarinet) by Howard J. Buss showcases both the agility and the beautiful, sonorous tone of instruments. It was written during the spring of 2013 and is the second in a series of works by the composer inspired by aspects of the signs of the Zodiac. The two movements are At the Glow of Dawn (3’5”) and Ocean Blue (3’50”). Aquarius explores a variety of sonic atmospheres and moods. The sophisticated musical language coupled with soaring melodies and intriguing rhythms makes this trio an accessible concert work as well as an impressive contest piece. (7’) Grade V. B440C $16.50
AVE VERUM CORPUS for four B-flat clarinets (or ensemble) by W. A. Mozart, transcribed by Howard J. Buss. This sensitive rendition of one of Mozarts most sublime works makes an outstanding feature number for a recital as well as a wonderful musical offering in church.(330) Grade II-III. B1007 $6.95
CANZONA for four Bb clarinets (or ensemble) by Florentio Maschera (1540-1584) transcribed by Howard J. Buss. This late Renaissance work is written in a stirring imitative style. It makes an outstanding feature number for a recital as well as a wonderful musical offering in church. (230) Grade III.
LEVI'S DREAM (2011) for clarinet quartet (2 Bb sopranos, Eb alto & Bb bass) or ensemble by Howard J. Buss. This colorful work showcases the agility and rich sonority of the instruments. The title refers to an imagined dream of Levi, the namesake of the Israelite Tribe. The Levites were known for their involvement in priestly duties and music. Although the composition is loosely programmatic, much of the music has a distinctly Middle-eastern quality. The soulful nature of the slower sections is enhanced by the expressive, luscious ambience of the clarinets. The composition features two sections with original tunes in the style of Jewish folk songs. One is slow and contemplative, the other jubilant. Levi’s Dream an audience-friendly work appropriate for the concert hall or in a house of worship. (7'40") Grade V. B428C $18.50
Levi's Dream sound samples: Excerpt 1.mp3 (1.1MB); Excerpt 2.mp3 (1MB); Excerpt 3 (the ending).mp3 (1.2MB)
PRELUDE AND DANCE (2003) for solo Eb clarinet, solo Bb clarinet & clarinet quartet (3 Bb and a Bb bass) by Howard J. Buss. An Eb alto clarinet part is also included for part 3 of the quartet. This riveting composition features two solo players with clarinet ensemble accompaniment. The dramatic, and at times Arabesque, Prelude is followed by the spirited Dance, which is characterized by zesty Latin rhythms. Multiple payers may be used on each of the parts in the clarinet quartet accompaniment to create a larger ensemble. Prelude and Dance is a unique and entertaining piece with great audience appeal. It is an "absolute must" for the advanced ensemble. (815) Grade V-VI. B379 $26.50
Prelude and Dance sound samples: Excerpt 1.mp3 (1.1MB), Excerpt 2.mp3 (1.2MB); Excerpt 3.mp3 (1MB)
PRELUDE AND INTRADA (2007) for Bb clarinet quartet (or ensemble) by Howard Buss. This attractive quartet features lyrical writing, and spirited rhythmic drive. It works well as a memorable feature number or an impressive contest piece. Multiple players may be used on each part to expand the ensemble. (515) Grade V.
PRISM (1988) for 3 B-flat clarinets by Neil Uchitel is a refreshing and stirring blend of lyrical and rhythmically animated sections. Of particular interest are the intriguing meter changes and, in one short passage, the use of different meters simultaneously. (615) Grade IV. Prism Sound Sample: Excerpt.mp3 (1MB)
Clarinet in chamber music
AWAKENING for clarinet, guitar & string bass by Howard Buss is a charming, soulful composition which is strongly influenced by the Jewish Klezmer idiom andwas composed for Giora Feidman, the well-known Klezmer legend. The music moves from a mystical, contemplative opening to an energetic finale. Color is added to the ensemble with the use of wind chimes, finger cymbals, and finger rolls on the body of the string bass. This work is a memorable addition to any recital, and because of its spiritual nature, makes a wonderful musical offering in a house of ) Grade IV. Awakening Sound Samples:
Excerpt 1, the opening.mp3 (1.2MB); Excerpt 2.mp3 (1.2MB); Excerpt 3 (the end).mp3 (1.1MB)
CANTICLES for clarinet, cello & piano by Roger Vogel is a beautiful, lyrical work in two movements: Lied Rhapsody and Serenade-Caprice. While often associated with liturgical music. The term “canticle” is simply a synonym for a song. In Canticles the main musical ideas are song-like melodies that are shared by all three instruments.(18’) Grade V.
Canticles sound samples: Excerpt,Mvt.1A.mp3 (1.1MB); Excerpt,Mvt.1B.mp3 (1.4MB); Excerpt,Mvt.2A.mp3 (1.4MB); Excerpt,Mvt.2BEnd.mp3 (1MB)
CAPRICCIO (1986) for clarinet, trombone & one percussion by Howard
J. Buss is a rather whimsical composition. The overall structure of
the work is related to sonata-rondo form. Following an introduction, the
frolicking Exposition unfolds only to be interrupted by a chorale-like
episode followed by a paraphrase of the opening thematic material.
The development section consists primarily of cadenzas for the percussionist,
trombonist, and clarinetist respectively. (The cadenzas are separated
by colorful transitional passages.) The clarinet cadenza is abruptly interrupted
by the percussionist and trombonist leading to a section in Dixieland
style. The composition concludes with a Recapitulation and Coda.Capriccio subtly pokes fun at the pyrotechnical characteristics exhibited by many
contemporary compositions and the same time hints at a parallel with similar
elements in Dixieland and jazz. The work was premiered in at the University
of South Florida in Tampa by the composer on trombone, clarinetist Judy
E. Buss, and percussionist Robert McCormick on November 24, 1981. The instrumentation includes 5 tom-toms, snare drum, tambourine, suspended
cymbals, cowbells, triangle, tam-tam, bell tree, one timpani, vibraphone
& bells. "Frolicking and freewheeling with
12-tone Dixieland to boot!" - The London Times (13) Grade
CONSENSUS FENCES (1991) for flute/piccolo, clarinet/bass clarinet & string bass by Erik Lund. This energetic trio is a must for the advanced new music ensemble. Recorded on Opus One Records: CD164 by the Ciosone Trio. Sound Sample 1.mp3 (976K) Sound Sample 2.mp3 (1MB) (1030) Grade VI.
DESERT ODYSSEY (1997) for clarinet, bassoon & piano by Howard J. Buss. Although there is no specific program involved in this music, it does nevertheless have a strong narrative quality. Because the continuous development of material takes the form of a chain of episodes, the music exhibits some of the attributes one might associate with a journey through the spectacular and awe-inspiring landscapes of the desert Southwest. Beautiful, lyrical sections contrast with intense and dramatic passages in this colorful work. Desert Odyssey was commissioned by The International Clarinet Association and was premiered at the organizations ClarinetFest 1997 hosted by Texas Tech University. The performers were Marguerite Baker, clarinet; Richard Meek, bassoon; and Jennifer Garrett, piano. (11) Grade V.
Desert Odyssey sound samples: Excerpt 1.mp3 (940KB); Excerpt 2.mp3 (915KB);
Excerpt 3.mp3 (899KB); Excerpt 4 (the ending).mp3 (675KB)
Desert Odyssey score samples (score in C):
Excerpt 1.pdf (3 pages, 324KB); Excerpt 2.pdf (3 pages, 508KB); Excerpt 3.pdf (2 pages, 336KB)
FANTASIA (1988) for flute, clarinet & piano by Howard J. Buss. The musical material in this colorful composition moves gradually from the contemplative opening section to an intense and driving finish. The writing is fresh, and the music is full of vitality and vivid imagination. A fabulous sonic journey. - The Atlanta Constitution. (730) Grade V.
Fantasia Sound Samples: Excerpt 1.mp3 (1.1MB); Excerpt 2.mp3 (1MB); Excerpt 3.mp3 (1.1MB)
FLORIDA TABLEAU (1987) for clarinet, trombone & piano by Howard J. Buss is a picturesque work in 3 movements: The March of Progress, Pastorale, and The Eternal Sea. The energetic first movement features dramatic contrast between lyrical lines in the winds sounding over a hard-driving piano accompaniment, and a development section characterized by staccato melodic fragments being passed among the players. The beautiful second movement, Pastorale, is impressionistic and paints a sonic portrait of rural Florida's vast pasture lands, forests, lakes, and the Everglades. The final movement, The Eternal Sea, begins and ends with turbulent sections, one can easily imagine great waves crashing on the shoreline. The middle part of the movement has a swashbuckling and almost humorous quality about it, suggesting people frolicking at the beach. Florida Tableau was commissioned by the Florida State Music Teachers Association. A curious musical blend of the old and the new, much like modern Florida itself. - The Orlando Sentinel (1640) Grade V.
New! GLACIAL VISTAS (2013) for flute, clarinet & one percussion by Howard J. Buss was inspired by the composer’s visit to Glacier National Park in Montana during the summer of 2011. The three picturesque movements, Dawn, On the Trail, and In the Realm of Twin Falls, capture the awe-inspiring grandeur and beauty of the rugged landscape. Glacial Vistas was composed during the winter of 2011-12 and is dedicated to flutist John Bailey. It was premiered on January 24, 2013 in the Kimball Recital Hall on the campus of the University of Nebraska in Lincoln by John Bailey, flute; Diane Barger, clarinet; and Anthony Falcone, percussion. (15’15”) Grade V-VI.
Glacial Vistas sound samples from a live performance: Movement 1 Excerpt (1.7MB); Movement 2 Excerpt (1.7MB); Movement 3 Excerpt 1 (1.1MB); Movement 3 Excerpt 2 (the ending) (1.5MB)
IN THE MIRROR OF TIME (2003) for clarinet, violin & cello by Howard Buss in 2 engaging movements: Recollections and Moving On. The first is lyrical and sweet and is permeated by a nostalgic ambience. The second retains some of the sentimentality of the first, but is more animated and pushes forward suggesting the relentless progression of time. Each movement is approximately 5 minutes in duration. (10) Grade V-VI. In the Mirror of Time Sound Samples:
Sample Movement 1A.mp3 (1.1MB) Sample Movement 1B.mp3 (450K)
Sample Movement 2A.mp3 (1.2MB) Sample Movement 2B.mp3 (1MB)
NIGHT FLIGHT (1999) for piccolo, clarinet & piano by Howard J. Buss. This riveting work showcases the piccolo and clarinet, exploring their different registers and colors. It provides exciting contrasts between lyrical and technical sections. Night Flight was commissioned for the 1999 National Flute Association Convention in Atlanta and was premiered at the event by Rebecca Arrenson, piccolo; Robert E. Price, clarinet; and Paula Peace, piano. (9) Grade V-VI.
Recorded by Lois Herbine, piccolo; Allison Herz, clarinet; and Charles Abramovic, piano on the critically-acclaimed Crystal Records CD "TAKE WING", available at http://www.crystalrecords.com/flute.html#CD713. Night Flight sound samples:
Sound Sample#1.mp3 (1MB) Sound Sample#2.mp3 (1MB) Sound Sample#3 (1MB)
PASSAGE TO EDEN (2001) for clarinet, French horn & piano by Howard J. Buss. This dramatic and colorful work is cast in 4 continuous movements. The mood of the first is of ominous significance, as if one was preparing to embark on an arduous journey. The music is lyrical, yet contains an undercurrent of tension and anticipation. The second movement is characterized by a contrapuntal dialogue between the clarinet and the horn over a driving ostinato in the piano. This section is hugely influenced by jazz. The lyrical and animated counterpoint sounding over the running bass line and chord punctuations in the keyboard gradually give way to a section of turbulence which serves as a transition to the relative calm of the following movement.The third movement, in 6/8 meter, has an easy flowing vitality. There is a silvery brilliance to the music with a hint of nostalgia. The interweaving melodic strands grow increasingly romantic in quality and then, quite suddenly, give way to a developmental passage which builds in intensity and expectation. The finale is spirited and jubilant in character. The atmosphere generated is one of a triumphant proclamation which grows increasingly exultant as the work culminates in a rousing coda. (12') Grade V-VI Passage to Eden Sound Samples: Excerpt 1.mp3 (1MB); Excerpt 2.mp3 (1.1MB);
Excerpt 3 (the ending).mp3 (507KB)
REMEMBRANCES (2000) for clarinet, cello & piano by Howard J. Buss is a lyrical work written in an appealing modern style. It was written immediately following the death of the composer's 97-year-old grandmother. Rather than being a somber memorial or musical epitaph, this charming and melodious composition is a celebration of life. The character of the opening section is contemplative. Gradually the music becomes more animated and Remembrances finishes in a spirit of buoyant optimism. (8) Grade IV. Remembrances sound samples: Excerpt 1.mp3 (815KB); Excerpt 2.mp3 (668KB); Excerpt 3 (the ending).mp3 (709KB)
REVERIE (1992) for clarinet, viola & piano by Howard J. Buss. This beautiful, neo-impressionistic work was commissioned by Luis Rossi and the Trio de Buenos Aires. It was premiered by this ensemble in Madrid, Spain at the Circulo de Bellas Artes on February 20, 1994. Reverie is a sophisticated work, rewarding for the performers and audience alike. As the title suggests, the music is contemplative. The writing is idiomatic and imaginative. (1030) Grade V.
Reverie Sound Samples: Excerpt 1.mp3 (1.1MB); Excerpt 2.mp3 (1MB);
Excerpt 3.mp3 (1.1MB); Excerpt 4.mp3 (1.2MB)
SAINT FRANCIS AND THE ANIMALS for flute, clarinet, and harp by Howard J. Buss is a tribute to St. Francis of Assisi, the venerated Catholic friar, preacher, founder of several Orders, and lover of animals and the environment. Cast in 2 programmatic movements, The Birds, and The Wolf, this composition musically portrays two of the many well-known stories of how Saint Francis communicated with animals. Saint Francis and the Animals was commissioned by Kathleen Jones for ClarinetFest 2013 in Assisi, Italy. (11’30”) Grade V-VI. B434 $28.50
Saint Francis and the Animals Sound Samples: Movement I, excerpt 1.mp3; Movement 1, excerpt 2.mp3; Movement II, excerpt 1.mp3; Movement II, excerpt 2.mp3; Movement II, excerpt 3.mp3
SUITE TIME (1974) for flute, clarinet & bassoon by Zack Browning in 4 movements: Imaginary Time, Real Time, Easy Time, and Hard Time. As the "tongue-in- cheek" titles of the work and movements suggest, this is a work that is both fun to play and listen to. Written in a conservative yet fanciful modern style, there is a charming balance between unity and contrast throughout. This is a real audience pleaser! (11) Grade IV-V.
Suite Time Sound Samples: Excerpt, Movement 1.mp3 (833KB); Excerpt, Movement 2.mp3 (942KB);
Excerpt, Movement 3.mp3 (703KB); Excerpt, Movement 4.mp3 (767KB)
THERE IS A SEASON (2007) for Bb clarinet and 2 percussion By Howard J. Buss. The titles of the 2 movements, A Time of War, and A Time of Peace, as well as that of the larger work are derived from Ecclesiastes 3 in the Old Testament of the Bible. This striking work was written during the Second Iraq War is loosely programmatic. The 1st movement is tense and has militaristic character with dramatic proclamations culminating in an exciting solo passage for the percussion. The second movement begins with an atmosphere of apprehension that gives way to a spirited dance-like section. Eventually the sonic disposition becomes reflective, but during the clarinet cadenza the mood brightens and returns to the animated and joyous mood exhibited earlier in the movement. Visit www.brixtonpublications.com/ for more information including instrumentation. (13’30”) Grade V-VI.
There Is A Season score samples: Percussion setup page.pdf (12KB); Excerpt movement 1.pdf (132KB);
Excerpt movement 2.pdf (168KB)
There Is A Season sound samples: Excerpt, Movement1A.mp3 (1.1MB); Excerpt, Movement 1B.mp3 (1.2MB);
Excerpt, Movement 2 (opening).mp3 (1.3MB)
VILLAGE SCENES (2004) for oboe, clarinet & bassoon by Howard Buss is a charming, colorful work inspired by the composers childhood memories of the village of Old Zionsville in Lehigh County, Pennsylvania. The music is sophisticated, yet accessible, and makes a wonderful recital feature. The three picturesque movements are entitled: I. Playground Games, The Church By the Spring, and The Arrival (716) Grade IV. Village Scenes score samples (score in C): Sample, Movement 1.pdf (2 pages);
Sample, Movement 2.pdf (1 page); Sample, Movement 3.pdf (2 pages)
Village Scenes sound samples: Excerpt Movement 1.mp3 (975KB); Excerpt Movement 2.mp3 (1.2MB); Excerpt Movement 3.mp3 (1.2MB)
COSMIC PORTRAITS (2009) by Howard J. Buss consists of three movements inspired by views of objects in the Milky Way galaxy. The titles of the first two movements, The Backbone of Night and The Pale Blue Dot are taken from the writings of the renowned astrophysicist, Carl Sagan. In his book, Cosmos, he describes how the !Kung Bushman in Botswana refer to the Milky Way as “the backbone of night.” The spine of the Milky Way often appears directly over the Kalahari Desert. The !Kung believe it to be the structural foundation of the heavens and that one of its functions in relation to Earth, among many, is that it holds up the darkness.
DRY BONES, the well-known African American spiritual (the foot bone's connected to the leg bone, the leg bone's connected to the...), arranged by Howard Buss, makes a wonderful concert feature as well as a rousing musical offering in church. Multiple players may be used on each part to expand the ensemble. This arrangement is hugely influenced by jazz. The composer wrote an extended two-part introduction which begins hymn-like, and then breaks out in a jubilant jazzy section. This is followed by a more traditional rendering of the spiritual; however, as the music reaches its climax, the jazz "licks" from the introduction are brought back as counterpoint against the main melody of the spiritual. The result is exhilarating, and for a bit of humor, just as the work ends, there is a "tongue-in-cheek" plagal cadence. (230) Grade IV.
FANTASY QUARTET (2003) for flute, clarinet, bassoon & marimba (plays also temple blocks) by Scott Jordan in 3 entertaining movements: Pixie Dance, Magic Forest, and Sprites. The first movement is a spirited, playful forest scene which employs contrasting metric feels simultaneously The Second evokes a mysterious nocturnal ambience with an overlapping of ethereal long tones and echoes. The third is quick and dance-like. Utilizing a 4-note scale, its colorful, rhythmic melodies are juggled among the 4 instruments. (11) Grade V.
Fantasy Quartet Sound Samples:
Excerpt, Movement 1.mp3 (924K), Excerpt movement 2.mp3 (950K), Excerpt, Movement 3.mp3 (984K)
FESTIVAL (1996) for flute/piccolo, C flute & 2 Bb clarinets by Howard J. Buss is an imaginative quartet which exudes a contagious optimism. This beautiful and compelling work showcases Buss unique style of soaring lyricism and exciting contrasts. Everyone in the ensemble has a interesting part as well. It is a memorable and upbeat concert piece and makes a joyous musical offering in church. (540) Grade V.
LULLABY OF THE SEA (2002) for oboe, clarinet, alto sax & bassoon by Robert J. Frank. This charming reed quartet was inspired by the gently undulating waves, shimmering moonlight on the surface, and gentle brezzes of the ocean on a quiet evening in a warm, tropical part of the world. Rolling gestures in the accompaniment compliment the gentle melodic theme, with the occasional call of the seagull. As the music draws to a close, the wind and waves still, lulling the final saxophone melody into blissful sleep. (2’) Grade IV.
PRELUDE AND INTRADA for woodwind quartet (flute, oboe, clarinet & bassoon) by Howard J. Buss. This attractive quartet features lyrical writing, and spirited rhythmic drive. The Prelude combines fanfare and lyrical sections as well as tonal and polytonal harmonies. The festive Intrada is in an ABA-Coda format and features crisp, energetic rhythms and lyrical contrapuntal writing. This is a memorable feature number or an impressive contest piece. Multiple players may be used on each part.. (5’30”) Grade V.
TRADITIONS (1990) for violin, clarinet, guitar & string bass by Howard J. Buss. was commissioned by the Luski Endowment for Viva Klezmer! as part of the nationwide 50th Anniversary Celebration of the American Music Center. This composition is a synthesis of traditional Jewish Klezmer music and elements of Western concert music. From the ornate opening cadenza (based upon the well-known "Shalom Alechem" melody to the jubilant, energetic "freilach" which concludes the work, Traditions spans a wide range of emotions. (630) Grade IV. Traditions Sound Samples: Excerpt 1.mp3 (1MB); Excerpt 2.mp3 (970KB); Excerpt 3.mp3 (1MB)
TRIBUTE TO KEROUAC for clarinet, tenor sax, piano & string bass by David Alpher was inspired by the work, life, and times of Jack Kerouac, King of the Beat Generation. Cast in seven entertaining movements, this significant composition is hugely influenced by jazz. In the preface to the score the composer writes: "Kerouac demonstrated the epic contradiction of America: on the one hand its wild energy, joy of life, and expansiveness; on the other, its tendency to self-destruct. Tribute to Kerouac is my musical response to, and commemoration of, this important American writer who liked to describe himself as a 'jazz.poet.'" This significant work is recorded on Ongaku Records CD#024-112. (17) Grade V.
Tribute to Kerouac Sound Samples:
I. American Nocturne Sample.mp3 (779K) II. Movin On Sample.mp3 (782K)
III. Remembered Sample.mp3 (982K) IV. Intermezzo Sample.mp3 (693K)
V. Beat Scene Sample.mp3 (996K) VI. Urgency Sample.mp3 (916K)
VII. Epilogue Sample.mp3 (919K)
WINTER WINDS for woodwind quintet (flute, oboe, clarinet & bassoon) by Roger Vogel reflects the vivid contrasts of winter - from the soft winds that accompany falling snow, to the sharp winds that chill to the bone. Recorded on the CD Sunlight and Shadows by the University of Georgia Woodwind Quartet - ACA-CM20085. (1515) Grade V. Winter Winds Sound Samples:
Excerpt, Movement 1A.mp3 (1MB); Excerpt, Movement 1B.mp3 (1.1MB);
Excerpt, Movement 2A.mp3 (1MB); Excerpt, Movement 2B.mp3 (999K)
Clarinet in chamber music - quintets and sextets:
COEXISTENCE (1979) for clarinet and 4 percussion by Howard J. Buss. Dramatic tension permeates this work as the solitary clarinet is pitted against the potentially explosive and overpowering might of the percussion ensemble.The state of fragile coexistence between the clarinetist and the percussionists at times requires the conductor to function as a referee in order to preserve the dynamic balance. The most theatrical example of this occurs about midway through the composition. At this point the music builds to a deafening, chaotic fury during which the clarinetist has no chance of being heard. The director restores order by disciplining the percussionists with a piercing blast on a police whistle. In contrast, Coexistence contains sections of relatively low intensity with delicate coloristic shadings and intricate ensemble coordination. Timbral modulations figure prominently throughout the work. Percussion distribution: Percussion 1: Xylophone, chimes (tubular bells), orchestra bells, 4 tom toms, sizzle cymbal, tam-tam, triangle and wind chimes; Percussion 2: Vibraphone, celesta (muted orchestra bells may by substituted), triangle, tambourine, temple blocks, maracas, and snare drum; Percussion 3: 2 suspended cymbals, triangle, cow bell, snare drum, bass drum, and tam tam; Percussion 4: Marimba, timpani (1), cow bell, large tam-tam (which may be shared with players 1 and 3), ratchet, whip, hi-hat, and wind chimes.An exquisite concert piece that will keep listeners on the edges of their seats! - The Clarinet.This is recommended literature.- Percussive Notes (9) Grade V. Coexistence Sound Samples: Excerpt 1.mp3 (922KB); Excerpt 2.mp3 (1023KB); Excerpt 3.mp3 (1MB)
FIVE STARS (2004) for wind quintet (flute, oboe, clarinet, horn & bassoon) by Howard J. Buss was composed for the Pegasus Wind Quintet. Each of the five picturesque movements features a different member of the ensemble: I. Into the Maelstrom (303) features the flute Sound Sample Mov.#1.mp3 (780K), II. A Distant Glow (420) features the French horn Sound Sample Mov.#2.mp3 (1008K), III. Orbits (320) features the oboe Sound Sample Mov.#3.mp3 (892K), IV. The Message from the Eternal Sea (3:15) features the bassoon Sound Sample Mov.#4.mp3 (1MB), and V. Dance of the Stars (310) features the clarinet Sound Sample Mov.#5.mp3 (896K). This work is sophisticated, yet audience-friendly, and is a must for the advanced quintet. Total performance time @ 1710 Grade V-VI.
INTRODUCTION AND DANCE (1964) for wind quintet (flute, oboe, clarinet, horn & bassoon) by Edward Troupin (1925-2004). Mr. Troupin enjoyed an international reputation as a composer of instrumental music. Throughout his long and illustrious career as a professor of music at Ithaca College and later the University of Florida, he inspired numerous young composers. Mr. Troupin received his bachelors degree from Harvard University with a major in mathematics. Later he earned his master of music degree from the University of Michigan, where he studied with Ross Lee Finney.
Troupins sound-world is dramatic and full of vitality. His Introduction & Dance for wind quintet was composed in 1964. In this entertaining and delightful composition the colorful and contrasting sections combine in charming balance to make a memorable concert feature. Because of the character of the music Introduction & Dance also makes a rousing encore and an effective contest piece. (5) Grade IV.
Introduction & Dance Sound Sample: Excerpt.mp3 (1.2MB)
MILLENNIUM VISIONS (1999) for clarinet & string quartet by Howard J. Buss in three captivating movements: First Dawn, Meditation, and Quest, was composed in the latter months of 1999 when most of the world was looking forward with eager anticipation to the turn of the Century, and in many minds, the Millennium. The conflict between mans desire to progress in our technological age and his desire to connect to his spiritual past is symbolically represented by an array of musical styles and compositional procedures. The modern world is suggested by passages influenced by popular music styles and 12-tone technique. The longing for spirituality is manifested in the poignant lyricism of the work and its reliance on classical formal structures. Commissioned by ClarinetFest 2000, premiered by Tom Martin (Boston Symphony). (20)
Grade V. Sound Sample 1.mp3 (1MB) Sound Sample 2.mp3 (1MB) Sound Sample 3.mp3 (1MB)
NIGHT WINDS (1994) for alto sax and wind quintet (flute, clarinet, oboe, bassoon & French horn) by Roger Vogel. This highly dramatic work is suggestive of the dark and somber quality of the themes and textures used throughout. The alto sax has been added to the traditional wind quintet and is treated as an integral member of the group. This composition is cyclic in form and is in a multi-sectional single movement: there are three slow sections that alternate with two faster ones. Night Winds was completed in 1994 and is dedicated to the musicians that premiered it: by Ronald Waln, flute; Dwight Manning, oboe; Theodore Jahn, clarinet; Jean Martin horn; William Davis, bassoon; and Ken Fischer, alto sax. (1230) Grade V.
Night Winds Sound Samples: Excerpt 1 (the beginning).mp3 (1.1MB); Excerpt 2.mp3 (1.1MB);
Excerpt 3 (the ending).mp3 (962KB)
PLANE DANCING (1984) for flute, trumpet, bass clarinet, bass trombone and 2 percussion by Erik Lund makes an exciting and colorful contrast on any program. This is music with thrust, intensely alive. Percussion distribution - Percussion 1: Three cymbals, tom toms (5), vibraphone, temple blocks, iron frying pan, cow bell, and brake drum; Percussion 2: Maracas. An excellent addition to the chamber music program. - Percussive Notes (5)
Plane Dancing Sound Samples: Excerpt 1 (the opening).mp3 (1.1MB); Excerpt 2 (the ending).mp3 (1.2MB)
QUINTESSENCE (1982) for flute, clarinet, violin, viola & cello by Howard J. Buss is cast in in three movements: The first is characterized by an elaborate contrapuntal dialog between the flute and clarinet over an energetic ostinato in the strings. The second is mystical in nature, and in the third (entitled Energetic) a central section featuring the cello is surrounded by sections with exciting, driving ostinati and intricate counterpoint. (13) Grade V.
SHORT STORY (1980) for flute, clarinet, oboe, cello & piano by Haskell Small was commissioned by the Georgetown Symphony. The thematic material in this entertaining work is mostly of a lyrical nature juxtaposed with a "chase" motif and several sections of a gently jazzy flavor. It is essentially in sonata form, with an introductory recitative-like section that repeats in the middle and at the end of the composition. A short fugue based upon the main lyrical theme precedes the ending. Recorded on 4Tay Records CD #4020 The Twisted Haskell Small has been hailed by the Washington Post for his "rich imagination and assured mastery." (1030) Grade V-VI. Short Story Sound Samples: Sample 1.mp3 (1MB) Sample 2.mp3 (797K)
TRACES (1987) for flute, clarinet, bass clarinet, violin & cello by Erik Lund addresses the individual and collective aspects of a group contending with a common tragedy - realized through various groupings within a quintet and changing compositional procedures. Winner of the 88 National Composers Competition, recorded on Opus One Records: CD164. (1240) Grade VI.
Traces Sound Samples: Sample 1.mp3 (1MB) Sample 2.mp3 (1MB) Sample 3.mp3 (989K)
TWO MODERN MOTETS (2005) for wind quintet (flute, oboe, clarinet, horn & bassoon) by Peter Rothbart was written while he was intensively studying sixteenth century motets. Intrigued by the contrapuntal nature of the genre with its simultaneous interconnectedness and independence of the lines, the composer wrote the first movement, alla Stile Antico, with this in mind. The second movement, alla Stravinsky, was influenced by Rothbart’s long-time fascination with Igor Stravinsky’s neo-classical works. In particular, he was inspired by Stravinsky’s extraordinary sense of balanced form, combined with modern rhythms and melodies. The two movements of this exciting quintet complement one another beautifully. Two Modern Motets makes a brilliant concert feature as well as an impressive contest piece. (4’30”) Grade V.
Two Modern Motets sound samples: Excerpt, Movement 1.mp3 (1.2MB); Excerpt, Movement 2.mp3 (1.1MB)
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