Clarinet in Chamber Music, Quintets and Sextets

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Clarinet in chamber music - quintets and sextets (in alphabetical order):

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  
Sound Samples: Excerpt 1.mp3; Excerpt 2.mp3; Excerpt 3.mp3    View on YouTube

COEXISTENCE for clarinet and 4 percussion, B311 $34.00

FIVE STARS (2004) for wind quintet (flute, oboe, clarinet, horn, and bassoon) by Howard J. Buss. Each of the five movements features a different member of the ensemble: Into the Maelstrom features the flute, A Distant Glow (horn), Orbits (oboe), The Message from the Cosmic Sea (bassoon), and Dance of the Stars (clarinet). This music is sophisticated, yet audience-friendly. It is well suited for school outreach concerts. (17’10") Grade V.
Sound Excerpts: Mov.#1.mp3; Mov.#2.mp3; Mov.#3.mp3; Mov.#4.mp3; Mov.#5.mp3.
Videos on YouTube: I. Into the Maelstrom, II. A Distant Glow, III. Orbits,
IV.The Message from the Cosmic Sea, V. Dance of the Stars
FIVE STARS for wind quintet, B393 $38.50 

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 bachelor’s 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.
Troupin’s sound-world is dramatic and full of vitality. His Introduction & Dance for wind quintet was composed in 1964. In this delightful composition the colorful and contrasting sections combine in charming balance to make a memorable concert feature. Because of the character of the music it also makes a rousing encore and an effective contest piece.
(5’) Grade IV. Sound Sample: Excerpt.mp3
INTRODUCTION & DANCE for wind quintet, B703 $12.00

MILLENNIUM VISIONS for clarinet & string quartet by Howard J. Buss in 3 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 man’s 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 Samples: Sound Sample 1.mp3; Sound Sample 2.mp3; Sound Sample 3.mp3

MILLENNIUM VISIONS for clarinet & string quartet, B368C $46.00 

NIGHT WINDS (1994) for alto sax and wind quintet (flute, clarinet, oboe, bassoon & 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 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. (12’30”) Grade V.  
Sound Samples: Excerpt 1 (the beginning).mp3; Excerpt 2.mp3; Excerpt 3 (the ending).mp3
NIGHT WINDS for alto sax & wind quintet, B904 $30.00

Ocean MoodsOCEAN MOODS “Three Sonic Portraits” (2014) for flute, clarinet, violin, viola & cello by Howard Buss ranges from lyric tenderness to powerful and sometimes dazzling technical displays. The three movements, Vistas (5:15), From the Depths (3:45), and Blustery (4:25), explore a wide range of sonic atmospheres and moods. The sophisticated musical language, coupled with vibrant melodies and intriguing rhythms, make this a significant chamber work. (13’30”)
Grade VI. 
Sound samples: Movement 1.mp3; Movement 2.mp3: Movement 3.mp3 - Video
OCEAN MOODS for flute, clarinet, violin, viola & cello, B444 $28.50

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), vibes, temple blocks, iron frying pan, cow bell, and brake drum; Percussion 2: Maracas. “An excellent addition to the chamber music program.” - Percussive Notes (5’) Grade V.
Sound Samples: Excerpt 1 (the opening).mp3; Excerpt 2 (the ending).mp3
PLANE DANCING for flute, trumpet, bass clarinet, bass trbn. and 2 perc., B402 $30.00

SHORT STORY (1980) for flute, clarinet, oboe, cello & piano by Haskell Small was commissioned by the Georgetown Symphony. The thematic material 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." (10’30”) Grade V.
Sound Samples: Sample 1.mp3; Sample 2.mp3
SHORT STORY for flute, clarinet, oboe, cello & piano, B603 $32.00

Skylines for woodwind sextet coverNew! SKYLINES, version for woodwind sextet by Howard J. Buss, was originally composed for trumpet and piano during the Fall of 2002. This version for woodwind sextet was commissioned in 2019 by Victoria Ward Ltd. in memory of clarinetist David Marshall. It is scored for flute, oboe, English horn, clarinet, bass clarinet and bassoon (an additional bassoon part is provided as a substitutute for the bass clarinet, part 5.) This is a picturesque musical urban portrait in 2 movements: 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. Score and parts are included. (10’30”) Grade V.
Sound samples: 1.mp3, 2.mp3; 3.mp3; 4.mp3  - Score sample: Excerpt.pdf
SKYLINES for woodwind sextet, (score & parts) B485 $38.50

Spectrum_Buss cover artSPECTRUM (2015) for bass clarinet and percussion quartet by Howard J. Buss was written for clarinetist Keith Koons and the University of Central Florida Percussion Ensemble. The structure of this one-movement work is suggestive of a journey through a sequence of colorful sonic landscapes. This composition is a showcase for the bass clarinet as well as the percussion ensemble. The music utilizes the entire practical range of the bass clarinet, exploring its impressive array of expressive capabilities. From the haunting beauty its low register to the agile brilliance of its upper range, this work reveals the great diversity of moods that can be created with the instrument as well the salient technical characteristics that distinguish it from the other woodwinds. The percussion ensemble, even when used as an accompaniment for the soloist, employs a wide array of timbres and textures. An undercurrent of energy and suspense is added to the musical tapestry as a result of the inherent tension between the soloist and the potentially overpowering might of the percussion battery. (13’50”) Grade V. B447 $40.00
Sound samples: Excerpt 1.mp3, Excerpt 2.mp3, Excerpt 3.mp3; Excerpt 4.mp3; Excerpt 5 (the ending).mp3

SPECTRUM for bass clarinet and percussion quartet, B447 $40.00

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 1988 National Composers Competition, recorded on Opus One Records: CD164. (12’40”) Grade VI. 
Traces Sound Samples: Sample 1.mp3; Sample 2.mp3; Sample 3.mp3
TRACES for flute, clarinet, bass clarinet, violin & cello, B403  $28.50  

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.makes a brilliant concert feature as well as an impressive contest piece.  (4’30”) Grade V.
Sound Samples: Movement 1.mp3; Movement 2.mp3 - Score sample (transposed score) Excerpts.pdf
TWO MODERN MOTETS for wind quintet, B210 $28.50

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Index of Clarinet Music: (Click on an instrumentation link, works are listed in alphabetical order within each category.)
Solo clarinet - unaccompanied
Clarinet with one other instrument or voice
(includes clarinet duos, clarinet and piano, clarinet & electronic recording, 
    basset horn and piano, etc.)
Clarinet ensembles
(includes clarinet trios, quartets, choirs)
Clarinet or bass clarinet solo with percussion ensemble
Clarinet in chamber music - trios
Clarinet in chamber music - quartets
(includes standard woodwind quartets)
Clarinet in chamber music - quintets and sextets
(includes standard wind quintets)

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