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Clarinet Quartets and Mixed Clarinet Quartets

New on the OMEA Ensemble List - Jan. 2012

Clarinet Quartets
Minuet and Trio - Percy Hall
Difficulty: ME  OMEA Class: C  Publ. Code: 50443005  
The title might indicate that this is a Baroque piece, but the melodies and harmony are much more up to date. Harmonies are close and rich in the Minuet and the Trio has alternating duets giving exposure to tone and musicianship. This might be quite a challenge for the usual difficulty found in Class C quartets, but it is well worth the effort for the performers and audience.

Frosty Evening Sleighride - Percy Hall
Difficulty: M  OMEA Class: B  Publ. Code: 50443004  
You will easily have visions of a wintry snowfall followed by a vintage sleighride through the country roads as you rehearse and perform this quartet.  Melodies lie well for clarinets, but that does not mean there are no challenges. Players will need to negotiate smooth slurring back and forth from the throat tones to the clarion register. Excellent instructions are provided in the performance suggestions.  Serious work on the technique will go a long way in developing your clarinetists, and they will have fun working on it to create that vision of old time winter fun.

Proudly as the Eagle - Spohr, arr. Percy Hall
Difficulty: E Grade 1++, Jr  OMEA Class: not listed  Publ. Code: 50443002  
Louis Spohr is a German composer who lived at the same time as Beethoven. He is remembered most for his compositions for the violin. However, “Proudly as the Eagle” is a vocal excerpt taken from one of his operas, and it adapts very well for instrumental ensembles. The piece is not difficult technically, but all four players must be able to play independent rhythms. Accurate intonation and balance of parts are also essential. The key is C major for clarinets, and the range is limited from G below the staff to G above the staff.

Two by Two - Percy Hall
Difficulty: ME Grade 2, Jr. High, Easy  OMEA Class: not listed  Publ. Code: 50443001  
The Biblical story of Noah, who took two of every animal aboard the ark before the flood devastated the world, is a familiar one. In this quartet, four clarinets are paired off, two by two, in presenting the thematic material. Each pair essentially plays the same rhythm which gives security to the ensemble for less experienced players. The range and flow of the melodies are very characteristic of clarinet playing.. This is exactly the kind of music developing clarinetists need to experience.

Previously listed - Clarinet Quartets and Mixed Clarinet Quartets

Clarinet Quartets
Variations on Slane - Hall
Difficulty: MD  OMEA Class: A  Publ. Code: 20443150  
Slane is an ancient Irish ballad named for a hill near Tara, Ireland where St. Patrick protested the pagan religion and brought Christianity to Ireland. Today we recognize this tune with the text “Be Thou My Vision”, This quartet was commissioned by Graham Geisler, Band Director at Mansfield Christian School to be performed in concert by his outstanding clarinet quartet. The simple statement of the theme is followed by 4 contrasting variations each with a reference to Ireland, first as a waltz, next as a jig, then a ballad, and finally a lively piece like a fiddle tune. Keys are G, C and F major, and range is from low E to high F above the staff. There are many meter changes, technical demands are moderate, and sensitive musicianship is essential. The 4th clarinet part may also be played by bass clarinet making this also a mixed clarinet quartet.

A Lazy Summer Day - Hall
Difficulty: M  OMEA Class: B  Publ. Code: 20443151  
These two contrasting pieces present a musical picture of activities engaged in on “A Lazy Summer Day.” Lyrical melodies and moving harmonies very aptly describe the mind set of inactivity while “Sitting in the Shade.” The running 8th note passages present a musical picture of a bubbling brook and the fun of wading in the cool rippling water. There is plenty of activity in all 4 parts. Keys are G and C and range is not demanding. The 4th part can also be played by bass clarinet making this also a mixed clarinet quartet.

An Irish Suite - Hall, arr.
Difficulty: M  OMEA Class: B  Publ. Code: 20443153  
We are indebted to Ireland for potatoes, people who became immigrants, and the music they brought with them! This suite for clarinet trio just includes three of them - “The Irish Minstrel Boy,” “Molly Malone” (sometimes called “Cockles and Mussels”), and “The Galway Piper.” Keys are G and C and technical demands are medium. Staccato tonguing and clarity of articulation are necessary in the final movement, and sensitive phrasing and balance in the first two songs. An excellent piece for contest or concert. The 4th clarinet part may also be played by bass clarinet making this also a mixed clarinet quartet.

Leaves Are Falling
Difficulty: M  OMEA Class: B  Publ. Code: 20443152  
This quartet is based on the same musical material as a trio for clarinets titled “Falling Leaves.” This was the original work, and it was later revised for just three clarinets. If you have 4 players to organize as a quartet, play this, but if there are only three, then play the trio! It is a descriptive piece in the form of a rondo (A B A C A). The melodies lie under the fingers for clarinets making it fun to play. The 4th part can also be played by bass clarinet making this also a mixed clarinet quartet. A great piece your clarinets players will enjoy.

Caprice in C - Hall
Difficulty: ME  OMEA Class: C  Publ. Code: 00174  
Caprice can be defined as whimsical, fanciful, and fickle. This is the intended mood of the piece. It should be played with this happy-go-lucky feeling. The abundance of slurred eighth note passages makes it suit the style of playing that developing clarinet players need to experience. Most of the passages fit under the fingers nicely. In one place the melodic lines are dovetailed from one part to another calling for a good understanding and control of rhythm to fit it together. This is frequently played at contests in Ohio.

Two Moods - Hall            Score sample
Difficulty: ME  OMEA Class:  Publ. Code: 00195  
The two moods are “Meditation” and “Whimsical Dance” which offer the players and the audience a pleasant contrast in style, tempo and mood. The “Meditation” is a beautiful song requiring sensitive phrasing and dynamics, and the “Whimsical Dance” is like a concert polka, and should be played artistically, rather than energetically. Players must count accurately to fit the musical lines together because of the independent rhythms. This quartet offers a sound and rewarding music experience for players and the audience.

Three Miniatures - Hall
Difficulty: E  OMEA Class: C  Publ. Code: 20443154  
This quartet was written first for saxophones to fill a need for a short, playable ensemble, and it has been frequently performed in Ohio contests. Great Works has now made it available for flute quartet, and clarinet quartet. Range is quite limited with the first clarinet part not above top line F, and the lowest pitch in the 4th part is low F#. It begins with a legato melody titled “Air.” and proceeds to an 18th century style “Minuet,” followed by a “Jig.” It is also published as an ensemble for clarinet choir under the title of “Air, Minuet and Jig.” See that category for instrumentation.

Mixed Clarinet Quartets
Variations on Slane - Hall
Difficulty: MD  OMEA Class: A  Publ. Code: 20443150  
see description above under clarinet quartet.

A Lazy Summer Day - Hall
Difficulty: M  OMEA Class: B  Publ. Code: 20443151  
see description above under clarinet quartet.

An Irish Suite - Hall, arr.
Difficulty: M  OMEA Class: B  Publ. Code: 20443153  
see description above under clarinet quartet.

Leaves Are Falling
Difficulty: M  OMEA Class: B  Publ. Code: 20443152  
see description above under clarinet quartet.

Three Miniatures - Hall
Difficulty: E  OMEA Class: C  Publ. Code: 20443154  
see description above under clarinet quartet.

“OMEA Class” refers to the assigned difficulty rating on the Ohio Music Educators Association Required List.

Sound samples are provided for some of the arrangements on this site. These are produced as MP3 files, with links noted after those arrangements for which they are available. Many also provide a "short MP3" alternative for those with slower, dial-up connections. While all sound samples are fairly compact, the shorter versions will typically download four to five times faster than their fuller counterparts.

Score samples are also provided for some arrangements. These show the first page (and sometimes several pages) of the score, and are provided in PDF format. You will need to have the Adobe Reader installed to be able to read these files. If you are unsure if you have this capability, click on a score link and see what happens. If you cannot read the file, a free version of the Adobe Reader is available at www.adobe.com.


How to order:   Published music can be purchased from any reputable music dealer, including the following:
Stanton's Sheet Music, 330 S. Fourth St., Columbus, OH 43215, phone 1-800-42MUSIC.
Rettig Music, Inc., Defiance / Lima / Toledo / Westlake, phone 1-800-52MUSIC.


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