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Clarinet ensembles (in alphabetical order):
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
Sound Sample: Excerpt.mp3
BROM BONES for clarinet choir (1 Eb, 3 Bb, 2 Eb Alto, 2 Bb Bass, and 1 Bb Contrabass) by Howard J. Bussmusically depicts the character and exploits of Washington Irving’s dashing prankster in The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. The work is in 5 movements: Following the energetic and heroic Overture, in The Smoke Out tone clusters represent the buildup of smoke in Ichabod’s singing school. Chorale-like passages suggest the music of the singers in training. The movement ends in transition, as Brom Bones and his small band of pranksters gallop off to their next adventure. The third movement, The Schoolhouse Caper, combines very aggressive and topsy-turvy passages with humorous, plodding interjections. Ichabod’s Romance begins as an enchanting unaccompanied ballad, which is abruptly disturbed by a cacophony of raucous clarinets, suggesting the whining of Brom’s mocking dog. Reverent hymn-like sections serve as the backdrop to heartfelt solo passages, which are again disturbed by Brom’s annoying dog. The movement ends as it began, with the beautiful bass clarinet solo. The intense final movement, Night Encounter, depicts Ichabod’s frightening and fateful run-in with the Headless Horseman, suspected by some to be Brom Bones in disguise. (13’15”) Grade V.
Sound Samples: Excerpt 1.mp3; Excerpt 2.mp3; Excerpt 3.mp3, Excerpt 4.mp3, Excerpt 5.mp3
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.
Sound Sample: Excerpt.mp3
CITYSCAPES (2014) for clarinet choir (Eb clarinet, 3 Bb clarinets, bass clarinet (or Bb clarinet 4), and contra alto clarinet (or bass clarinet 2) by Roger C. Vogel. Commissioned by the Chattanooga Clarinet Choir, premiered at ClarinetFest 2014, this picturesque 5-movement composition was inspired by typical city scenes. (13’) Grade V. B940 $46.00
You Tube videos: "Morning Traffic"; Movement 2, "Riverfront";
Movement 3, "A Walk in the Park"; Movement 4, "Skyline at Sunset"; and Movement 5, "Night Life".
DRY BONES, the well-known African American spiritual, 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.
Dry Bones clarinet quartet Score Sample: Excerpt.pdf - Sound Samples: Excerpt 1.mp3; Excerpt 2 (the ending).mp3
Dry Bones woodwind quartet Sound Sample: Excerpt.mp3
LEVI'S DREAM (2011) for clarinet quartet: 2 Bb sopranos, Eb alto (or Bb soprano), and Bb bass 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
Sound Samples: Excerpt 1.mp3; Excerpt 2.mp3; Excerpt 3.mp3
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 $30.00
Sound samples: Excerpt 1.mp3, Excerpt 2.mp3; Excerpt 3.mp3
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.
Sound Samples: Excerpt 1.mp3; Excerpt 2.mp3
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
RICERCARE ON C by Andrea Gabriel (1510-1586) arranged by Howard Buss for 4 clarinets (3 Bb and 1 Bb bass or clarinet choir. This late Renaissance work is written in a stirring imitative style. Particularly interesting are the meter changes involving metric modulations, a trait found in much of the dance music of the day. It makes an outstanding feature number for a recital as well as a wonderful musical offering in church. (2’30”) Grade III. B1012C $8.95
Sound Samples: Excerpt.mp3
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Index of Clarinet Music: (Click on an instrumentation link, works are listed in alphabetical order within each category.)
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