Sheet music

Prelude and Fugue in D Minor (Op. 109 No. 1) for Clarinet Quartet
Video

Prelude and Fugue in D Minor (Op. 109 No. 1) for Clarinet Quartet

4 parts11 pages07:58a day ago22 views
Clarinet(4)
Charles-Camille Saint-Saëns (1835 – 1921) was a French composer, organist, conductor and pianist of the Romantic era. His best-known works include Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso (1863), the Second Piano Concerto (1868), the First Cello Concerto (1872), Danse macabre (1874), the opera Samson and Delilah (1877), the Third Violin Concerto (1880), the Third ("Organ") Symphony (1886) and The Carnival of the Animals (1886).

Saint-Saëns was a musical prodigy; he made his concert debut at the age of ten. After studying at the Paris Conservatoire he followed a conventional career as a church organist, first at Saint-Merri, Paris and, from 1858, La Madeleine, the official church of the French Empire. After leaving the post twenty years later, he was a successful freelance pianist and composer, in demand in Europe and the Americas.

Of his lesser-know works, the Trois Préludes et Fugues (Three Preludes & Fugues - Op 109), were completed in February 1898 at Las Palmas and are dedicated respectively to Fauré, Périlhou and Henri Dallier, who since 1879 had been organist of St Eustache and was to succeed Fauré at La Madeleine in 1905. On the receipt of a complimentary copy of the newly published work, Fauré wrote to Saint-Saëns: ‘Upon my return from London I found the superb Préludes et Fugues for organ which I will never be able to play properly, and I had the great joy of seeing my name at the head of one of them. I thank you a thousand times for this pleasant and flattering surprise.’

Saint-Saëns was renowned for his improvised fugues and Op 109 demonstrates well the ‘clean, clear, incisive subject, the surprisingly ingenious countersubject, the exquisitely imaginative and inventive episodes’ of which Huré wrote. Saint-Saëns himself related the anecdote of the bride who shocked him with the request not to play fugues at her wedding as they were too serious, and whilst Op 150 reveals an array of improvisatory possibilities, Op 109 attests also to the variety of his fugues. The first and third of Op 109, in D minor and C major respectively, are certainly cast in the grand style that he advocated for the instrument, though with varying characters. The G major, however, is full of the charm, grace and balance found in so much of his music. Vierne praised the works for their form and colour and asserted that they should be ‘… in the repertoire of any organist truly worthy of the name, as much for their superb style as for their virtuosic demands’.

Source: Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Camille_Saint-Sa%C3%ABns ).

Although originally composed for Solo Piano, I created this interpretation of the Prelude and Fugue in D Minor (Op. 109 No. 1) for Clarinet Quartet (3 Bb Clarinets & Bass Clarinet).
Prelude & Fugue in G Major (Op. 109 No. 2) for Oboe & Strings
Video

Prelude & Fugue in G Major (Op. 109 No. 2) for Oboe & Strings

5 parts9 pages05:322 days ago23 views
Oboe, Violin(2), Viola, Cello
Charles-Camille Saint-Saëns (1835 – 1921) was a French composer, organist, conductor and pianist of the Romantic era. His best-known works include Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso (1863), the Second Piano Concerto (1868), the First Cello Concerto (1872), Danse macabre (1874), the opera Samson and Delilah (1877), the Third Violin Concerto (1880), the Third ("Organ") Symphony (1886) and The Carnival of the Animals (1886).

Saint-Saëns was a musical prodigy; he made his concert debut at the age of ten. After studying at the Paris Conservatoire he followed a conventional career as a church organist, first at Saint-Merri, Paris and, from 1858, La Madeleine, the official church of the French Empire. After leaving the post twenty years later, he was a successful freelance pianist and composer, in demand in Europe and the Americas.

Of his lesser-know works, the Trois Préludes et Fugues (Three Preludes & Fugues - Op 109), were completed in February 1898 at Las Palmas and are dedicated respectively to Fauré, Périlhou and Henri Dallier, who since 1879 had been organist of St Eustache and was to succeed Fauré at La Madeleine in 1905. On the receipt of a complimentary copy of the newly published work, Fauré wrote to Saint-Saëns: ‘Upon my return from London I found the superb Préludes et Fugues for organ which I will never be able to play properly, and I had the great joy of seeing my name at the head of one of them. I thank you a thousand times for this pleasant and flattering surprise.’

Saint-Saëns was renowned for his improvised fugues and Op 109 demonstrates well the ‘clean, clear, incisive subject, the surprisingly ingenious countersubject, the exquisitely imaginative and inventive episodes’ of which Huré wrote. Saint-Saëns himself related the anecdote of the bride who shocked him with the request not to play fugues at her wedding as they were too serious, and whilst Op 150 reveals an array of improvisatory possibilities, Op 109 attests also to the variety of his fugues. The first and third of Op 109, in D minor and C major respectively, are certainly cast in the grand style that he advocated for the instrument, though with varying characters. The G major, however, is full of the charm, grace and balance found in so much of his music. Vierne praised the works for their form and colour and asserted that they should be ‘… in the repertoire of any organist truly worthy of the name, as much for their superb style as for their virtuosic demands’.

Source: Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Camille_Saint-Sa%C3%ABns ).

Although originally composed for Solo Piano, I created this interpretation of the Prelude and Fugue in G major (Op. 109 No. 2) for Oboe & Strings (2 Violins, Viola & Cello).
Found in Community

Groups

"Grande Valse Villageoise" from "Sleeping Beauty" (Op. 66 Act.1 No. 6) for Flute & Strings
Video

"Grande Valse Villageoise" from "Sleeping Beauty" (Op. 66 Act.1 No. 6) for Flute & Strings

5 parts12 pages04:223 days ago52 views
Flute, Violin(2), Viola, Cello
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840 – 1893), was a Russian composer of the romantic period, some of whose works are among the most popular music in the classical repertoire. He was the first Russian composer whose music made a lasting impression internationally, bolstered by his appearances as a guest conductor in Europe and the United States. He was honored in 1884 by Emperor Alexander III, and awarded a lifetime pension.

Tchaikovsky wrote many works that are popular with the classical music public, including his Romeo and Juliet, the 1812 Overture, his three ballets (The Nutcracker, Swan Lake, The Sleeping Beauty) and Marche Slav. These, along with his First Piano Concerto and his Violin Concerto, the last three of his six numbered symphonies and his operas The Queen of Spades and Eugene Onegin, are among his most familiar works. Almost as popular are the Manfred Symphony, Francesca da Rimini, the Capriccio Italien and the Serenade for Strings.

The Sleeping Beauty is a ballet in a prologue and three acts, first performed in 1890. The music was composed by Tchaikovsky (his opus 66). The score was completed in 1889, and is the second of his three ballets. The original scenario was conceived by Ivan Vsevolozhsky, and is based on Charles Perrault's La Belle au bois dormant. Most famously, there's the waltz from Act 1. After an exciting, anticipatory introduction, the bright, gently swaying waltz itself begins in the strings, with a second, more staccato strain punctuated by brass chords. The principal melody reappears against chirping figures in the woodwinds, only to give way to a charming episode for flute and glockenspiel. The entire waltz, minus the introduction, is then repeated, and ends with a festive coda.

In 1890, Alexander Siloti was approached to arrange the music for piano duet. He declined, but suggested his then 17-year-old cousin Sergei Rachmaninoff would be more than competent. This offer was accepted, although Siloti supervised the arrangement. Rachmaninoff himself arranged the entire score for piano solo. It is from this score that I created the following interpretation of the Grande valse villageoise (a.k.a. The Garland Waltz) from Act I No. 6.

Source: Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Sleeping_Beauty_(ballet) );

Although originally composed for Orchestra (and later re-arranged for Piano Duet by Sergei Rachmaninoff), I created this interpretation of the Grande Valse Villageoise (Op. 66 Act.1 No. 6) for Flute & Strings (2 Violins, Viola & Cello).
Chorale: "Ertöt uns durch dein Güte" (BWV 22 No 5) for Winds & Strings
Video

Chorale: "Ertöt uns durch dein Güte" (BWV 22 No 5) for Winds & Strings

13 parts7 pages02:064 days ago30 views
Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, Bassoon, Trumpet(2), French Horn, Tuba, Violin(2), Viola, Cello, Contrabass
Jesus nahm zu sich die Zwölfe (Jesus gathered the twelve to Himself), BWV 22,[a] is a church cantata by Johann Sebastian Bach composed for Quinquagesima, the last Sunday before Lent. Bach composed it as an audition piece for the position of Thomaskantor in Leipzig and first performed it there on 7 February 1723.

The work, which is in five movements, begins with a scene from the Gospel reading in which Jesus predicts his suffering in Jerusalem. The unknown poet of the cantata text took the scene as a starting point for a sequence of aria, recitative, and aria, in which the contemporary Christian takes the place of the disciples, who do not understand what Jesus is telling them about the events soon to unfold, but follow him nevertheless. The closing chorale is a stanza from Elisabeth Cruciger's hymn "Herr Christ, der einig Gotts Sohn". The music is scored for three vocal soloists, a four-part choir, oboe, strings and continuo. The work shows that Bach had mastered the composition of a dramatic scene, an expressive aria with obbligato oboe, a recitative with strings, an exuberant dance, and a chorale in the style of his predecessor in the position as Thomaskantor, Johann Kuhnau. Bach directed the first performance of the cantata during a church service, together with another audition piece, Du wahrer Gott und Davids Sohn, BWV 23. He performed the cantata again on the last Sunday before Lent a year later, after he had taken up office.

The cantata shows elements which became standards for Bach's Leipzig cantatas and even the Passions, including a "frame of biblical text and chorale around the operatic forms of aria and recitative", "the fugal setting of biblical words" and "the biblical narrative ... as a dramatic scena".

The cantata has five movements and is scored for three vocal soloists (an alto (A), tenor (T) and bass (B)), a four-part choir (SATB), and for a Baroque orchestra of an oboe (Ob), two violins (Vl), viola (Va) and basso continuo. The duration is given as c.?20 minutes.

Source: Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jesus_nahm_zu_sich_die_Zw%C3%B6lfe,_BWV_22).

In this, the closing Chorale, the fifth stanza of Elisabeth Cruciger's "Herr Christ, der einig Gotts Sohn". Its melody is based on one from Wolflein Lochamer's Lochamer-Liederbuch, printed in Nürnberg around 1455. It first appears as a sacred tune in Johann Walter's Wittenberg hymnal Eyn geystlich Gesangk Buchleyn (1524). The usual four-part setting of the voices is brightened by continuous runs of the oboe and violin I.[35] Isoyama thinks that Bach may have intentionally imitated the style of his predecessor Johann Kuhnau in the "elegantly flowing obbligato for oboe and first violin". John Eliot Gardiner describes the movement's bass line as a "walking bass as a symbol of the disciples' journey to fulfilment. Mincham comments that Bach "chose to maintain the established mood of buoyancy and optimism with a chorale arrangement of almost unparalleled energy and gaiety"

I created this arrangement of the closing Chorale, "Ertöt uns durch dein Güte" (Kill us through your goodness or Us mortify through kindness) for Winds (Flute, Oboe, Bb Clarinet, Bassoon, Bb Trumpet, Flugelhorn, French Horn & Euphonium) & Strings (2 Violins, Viola & Cello).
Adagio from the Chorale in A Minor (FWV 40 No. 3 Mvt. 2) for String Quintet
Video

Adagio from the Chorale in A Minor (FWV 40 No. 3 Mvt. 2) for String Quintet

5 parts2 pages02:475 days ago33 views
Violin(2), Viola, Cello, Contrabass
In the park facing the suburban Paris basilica of Sainte-Clotilde, where Franck was organist for 32 years, there is a memorial sculpture by Alfred Lenoir, which places the composer before the manuals, head bowed, rapt in meditation as an angel, shielding him with outspread wings, whispers. Indeed, Franck's best music often evokes the voices of angels, a sense of being suspended (as he was in the organ loft) between earth and heaven, the worldly and the divine. Hence, the "serene anxiety" which the critic, Georges-Jean Aubry, attributed to him. In the Trois Chorals, his final work, this mystical hovering attains its most richly compelling form.

At the suggestion of the publisher, Auguste Durand, Franck began the Chorals while on summer holiday at Nemours and completed them on his return to Paris -- the third and last choral is dated September 30, 1890. On October 2, he played them on a piano for his organ class at the Conservatoire -- which included Vierne and Tournemire -- with his last student, Guillaume Lekeu, taking the pedal part. An accident the preceding May, in which Franck had been struck in the chest by an omnibus, had left him weakened. A chill taken at the beginning of October soon turned to pleurisy, but he insisted on returning to the loft of Sainte-Clotilde on October 20 to determine the registration of the Chorals. He came home to take to his bed, his condition wavering, his mind deliriously occupied with a fugue, and died on the morning of November 8.

The formal plan of the first, E major Choral has been the subject of debate; the difficulty lies in attempting to equate what Franck has actually done with pre-existing models. Franck himself tried to explain to his students that "You will see, the Choral is not the thing itself -- the true choral becomes in the course of the work." It opens with a flood of melody which Vincent d'Indy analyzed into seven thematic cells, of which, only the last -- a six bar phrase -- resembles what J. S. Bach would have understood as "choral." The work proceeds through an ever more fantastic, chromatically saturated series of contrapuntal variations, in which one or another of the cells informs every voice, imparting a polyphonic incandescence, transcending mere punctus contra punctus cleverness, until the Bach-like fragment stands forth tutta forza and exultant.

This, the A Minor Choral introduces a proper four-voice choral which eventually subdues the coruscations before rising in great arpeggiated chords to a central dolce espressivo cantilena. This incantatory stream of liquid silver pours forth like ardent prayer, with growing modulatory and contrapuntal involvement until it attains a great, pedal-underlined slargando climax. The flickering scintillations of the opening return, surmounted by the choral and subdued again to a docile accompaniment. Wrought to a suspenseful coda, it ends on a triumphant A major tierce de Picardie.

Source: AllMusic (https://www.allmusic.com/composition/chorals-3-for-organ-m-38-40-mc0002494556).

Although originally written for Pipe Organ, I created this Arrangement of the Adagio from the Chorale in A Minor (FWV 40 No. 3 Mvt. 2) for String Quintet (2 Violins, Viola, Cello & Bass).
Chorale: "O großer Gott von Treu" (BWV 46 No 6) for Flutes & Strings
Video

Chorale: "O großer Gott von Treu" (BWV 46 No 6) for Flutes & Strings

6 parts2 pages02:156 days ago28 views
Flute(2), Violin(2), Viola, Cello
Schauet doch und sehet, ob irgend ein Schmerz sei (Behold and see, if there be any sorrow), BWV 46, is a church cantata by Johann Sebastian Bach. He composed it in Leipzig for the tenth Sunday after Trinity and first performed it on 1 August 1723.

The cantata is part of Bach's first annual cycle of cantatas, which he began when he took up office as Thomaskantor in May 1723. The topic is based on the prescribed reading from the gospel of Luke, Jesus announcing the destruction of Jerusalem and cleansing of the Temple. The librettist is unknown. The cantata is structured in six movements: two choral movements frame a sequence of alternating recitatives and arias. The opening movement is based on a verse from the Book of Lamentations, a lament of the destructed Jerusalem, related to the announcement from the gospel. The text moves from reflecting God's wrath in the past to the situation of the contemporary Christian. The closing chorale, a stanza from Johann Matthäus Meyfart's hymn "O großer Gott von Macht", is a prayer culminating in the thought "do not repay us according to our sins".

The cantata is scored for three vocal soloists (alto, tenor and bass), a four-part choir, a slide trumpet, two recorders, two oboes da caccia, strings and basso continuo.[2] This is an unusually rich instrumentation for an ordinary Sunday. Bach created in the opening chorus an unusual "uncompromising" fugue for up to nine parts. The bass aria with an obbligato trumpet, depicting God's wrath compared to a thunderstorm, has been regarded as "more frightening" than any contemporary operatic 'rage' arias. The closing chorale is not the usual simple four-part setting, but includes instrumental interludes reminiscent of motifs used before.

Bach used music of the first section of the opening chorus for Qui tollis peccata mundi of his Mass in B minor. He made considerable changes when he adapted the lamenting music to depict the Lamb of God carrying the sins of the world.

As with other cantatas Bach composed in his first years in Leipzig, we do not know the identity of the librettist. It is the third in a group of ten cantatas following the same structure of biblical text (in this case from the Old Testament) – recitative – aria – recitative – aria – chorale. The ten cantatas were dedicated to the 8th to 14th and 21st to 22nd Sunday after Trinity and the second Sunday after Easter.

The words for the first movement are taken from the Book of Lamentations (Lamentations 1:12), a lament about the historic destruction of Jerusalem. The text, suitable in connection with the announcement by Jesus, is among the prescribed readings for Good Friday and has been set to music often. The text for the inner movements 2 to 5 were written by the unknown poet, who dedicated a pair of recitative and aria to the memory of the historic event, another pair to the warning that the contemporary Christian is threatened in a similar way. The final chorale is the ninth stanza of "O großer Gott von Macht" by Johann Matthäus Meyfart.

The cantata is structured in six movements and scored for three vocal soloists (alto (A), tenor (T) and bass (B)), a four-part choir (SATB), a slide trumpet (Zugtrompete, Tr), mostly doubling the choir soprano, two recorders (Fl), two oboes da caccia (Oc), two violins (Vl), viola (Va) and basso continuo (Bc). This is an unusually rich instrumentation for an ordinary Sunday.[6] The title on the original parts reads: "10 post Trinit: / Schauet doch und sehet, ob irgend ein etc. / a / 4 Voci / 1 Tromba / 2 Flauti / 2 Hautb: da Caccia / 2 Violini / Viola / con / Continuo / di Sign: / J.S.Bach".

Source: Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schauet_doch_und_sehet,_ob_irgend_ein_Schmerz_sei,_BWV_46).

I created this arrangement of the closing Chorale: "O großer Gott von Treu" (O great God of faithfulness) for 2 Flutes & Strings (2 Violins, Viola & Cello).
Erlkönig (D.328 Op. 1) for Oboe & Strings
Video

Erlkönig (D.328 Op. 1) for Oboe & Strings

6 parts11 pages04:137 days ago78 views
Oboe, Violin(2), Viola, Cello, Contrabass
Franz Peter Schubert (1797 – 1828) was an Austrian composer of the late Classical and early Romantic eras. Despite his short lifetime, Schubert left behind a vast oeuvre, including more than 600 secular vocal works (mainly Lieder), seven complete symphonies, sacred music, operas, incidental music and a large body of piano and chamber music. His major works include the Piano Quintet in A major, D. 667 (Trout Quintet), the Symphony No. 8 in B minor, D. 759 (Unfinished Symphony), the three last piano sonatas (D. 958–960), the opera Fierrabras (D. 796), the incidental music to the play Rosamunde (D. 797), and the song cycles Die schöne Müllerin (D. 795) and Winterreise (D. 911).

Page after page has been written about Franz Schubert's Erlkönig -- it is easily the most familiar single piece from the German song repertory; yet each hearing of the work seems somehow to conjure up the same spark of desperate passion in the listener that it must have conjured from those Viennese music-lovers who first encountered the song when it was published in 1821--six years after being composed--as Schubert's Opus 1.

Erlkönig the poem is a dramatic ballad, part of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's 1782 singspiel Der Fischerin. It tells, in strict meter and regular four-line stanzas, the tale of a father riding through the woods late at night with his son. The evil Erl-king (the origin of the words "Erlkönig" and "Erlenkönig," both of which forms appear in Goethe's ballad, is complicated and even confused; some say they are a translation, or mistranslation, into German of the Danish word for "Elf King"), visible to the young boy, but not to his father, calls out to the lad, tempting him with thoughts of games and dances. Many times the boy cries out to his father to help him, but the father cannot see the Erl-king or his minions and writes his son's horror off as one natural phenomenon or another. Only when the boy is physically wounded does the father recognize that desperate measures are called for; though he rides with all his strength and skill, however, his boy expires before he reaches safety.

Schubert's setting of Goethe's ballad dates from sometime during Fall of 1815 -- a fabulously productive year during which he penned nearly 145 lieder, and countless instrumental works, while still working as a schoolteacher. The song's immense fame during the nineteenth century gave rise to many fanciful stories of its composition; some have claimed that it was composed in just a few minutes, in one fell swoop of passion, while a friend looked on, but such a genesis seems unlikely. Schubert revised his setting three times, mostly tinkering with the piano accompaniment but also altering dynamics in striking ways and inserting/deleting measures to slightly better the pacing.

And it is pacing, or motion, in a truly physical sense, that fuels both Goethe's frantic poem and Schubert's lied. There is a continuous background of repeated, triplet octaves in the piano part (very difficult and physically tiring -- in one of the revisions Schubert simplified the figuration, asking for duplets instead of triplets), against which the three characters of the ballad sing their simple lines. Each persona is given his own unique tone: the child frantic and impassioned, the father noble and self-assured, Erlkönig himself relaxed and attractive as he seeks to trick the child. The result is an almost demonic fury, and as the drama unfolds and the child becomes more and more terrified and sings in a higher and higher register, the harsh dissonances of his cries, "Mein Vater, mein Vater!" become ever more bone-chilling. The racing triplets cease only at the very end of the song, as the narrator proclaims in a bit of taut recitative that "the child was dead in his [the father's] arms."

Source: AllMusic (https://www.allmusic.com/composition/erlk%C3%B6nig-wer-reitet-so-sp%C3%A4t-song-for-voice-piano-d-328-op-1-mc0002371024 ).

Although originally composed for Voice & Piano, I created this arrangement of the Erlkönig (D.328 Op. 1) for Oboe & Strings (2 Violins, Viola, Cello & Bass).
Chorale: "Das alte Jahr vergangen ist" (BWV 1091) for String Quartet
Video

Chorale: "Das alte Jahr vergangen ist" (BWV 1091) for String Quartet

4 parts2 pages01:337 days ago25 views
Violin(2), Viola, Cello
The Neumeister Collection is a compilation of 82 chorale preludes found in a manuscript copy produced by Johann Gottfried Neumeister (1757–1840). When the manuscript was rediscovered at the Yale University in the 1980s it appeared to contain 31 previously unknown early chorale settings by Johann Sebastian Bach, which were added to the BWV catalogue as Nos. 1090–1120 and published in 1985.

Bach's compositions have been performed and enjoyed for over two-and-a-half centuries. Some of them, however, are relative newcomers to the music scene, including this chorale prelude and the other 37 by Bach found in the Neumeister Collection by scholar Christoph Wolff in 1985. This one, "Das alte Jahr vergangen ist" (The old year is gone), is one of the composer's more somber efforts from that set, but perhaps one of his more rewarding. Though it is a very early work, showing the influence of Buxtehude, it is still a worthwhile composition. Like many of the Neumeister chorale preludes, it presents the chorale theme in skeletal sonorities at the outset. Atypically, though, the theme remains shrouded in rather modest dress and somber tones throughout, the music seeming to look back upon the year passed in the title with a nostalgic, melancholy gaze. As the piece progresses, its contrapuntal elements and deft harmonies impart a more varied character and depth, but the gloomy mood is never quite dispelled.

Source: AllMusic (https://www.allmusic.com/composition/das-alte-jahr-vergangen-ist-ii-chorale-prelude-for-organ-neumeister-chorale-no-2-bwv-1091-bc-k162-mc0002368961).

Although originally written for Organ, I created this Interpretation of the "Das alte Jahr vergangen ist" (The old year is gone) BWV 1091 for String Quartet (2 Violins, Viola & Cello).
"Night on Bald Mountain" (IMM 43) for Small Orchestra
Custom audio

"Night on Bald Mountain" (IMM 43) for Small Orchestra

16 parts76 pages09:578 days ago105 views
Piccolo, Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, English Horn, Bassoon, Trumpet(2), French Horn, Tuba, Timpani, Violin(2), Viola, Cello, Contrabass
Modest Petrovich Mussorgsky (1839 – 1881) was a Russian composer, one of the group known as "The Five". He was an innovator of Russian music in the romantic period. He strove to achieve a uniquely Russian musical identity, often in deliberate defiance of the established conventions of Western music. Many of his works were inspired by Russian history, Russian folklore, and other national themes. Such works include the opera Boris Godunov, the orchestral tone poem Night on Bald Mountain and the piano suite Pictures at an Exhibition.

For many years Mussorgsky's works were mainly known in versions revised or completed by other composers. Many of his most important compositions have posthumously come into their own in their original forms, and some of the original scores are now also available. In a July 5, 1867 letter to Nikolay Rimsky-Korsakov, Modest Mussorgsky wrote "(I have) finished St. John's Night on Bald Mountain, a musical picture with the following program: (1) assembly of the witches, their chatter and gossip; (2) cortege of Satan; (3) unholy gratification of Satan; and (4) witches' sabbath." Mussorgsky proclaims "in form and character my composition is Russian and original. Its tone is hot and chaotic.... St. John's Night is something new and is bound to produce a satisfactory impression...."

The impression was not so satisfactory for Mily Balakirev, who rejected the work in 1869 from consideration for a Free School concert. Balakirev sent the manuscript back to Mussorgsky bearing handwritten marks such as the comment "Rubbish!" in the margins. Later, under the spell of Liszt's Totentanz, Mussorgsky considered refashioning the movement as a piano/orchestral work, but nothing came of this plan.

In May 1877, Mussorgsky drew up the scenario of his comic opera Sorochintsy Fair, proposing an extensive revision of the St. John's Night music as an Intermezzo opening the third act. Mussorgsky completed this part of the opera in 1880, retaining music from (1) and (3) of the original work, and adding new material. Identified as "Dream of the Young Peasant Lad," this also had a new program: as a boy dreams on a hill, he is threatened by inhuman voices and finds himself mocked in the realm of shadows. The voices warn of the Devil and the "Black God" Chernobog; as the shadows fade, both appear. Chernobog is glorified, a Black Mass is sung, and a Witches' Sabbath breaks out. As a church bell intones, Chernobog disappears and the demons writhe in agony. A church choir sings, the demons fade away, awakening the boy. Mussorgsky was never to complete Sorochintsy Fair.

In 1867 letter quoted above, Mussorgsky wrote Rimsky-Korsakov "I should like us to examine the orchestration together (...) we might clear up many things." Rimsky-Korsakov fulfilled his end of the bargain in 1886, five years after Mussorgsky's death, in producing Night on Bald Mountain (also "Night on the Bare Mountain"). This was the "Lad's Dream" music, minus its choral parts and with its abrupt, dramatic effectual "stings" removed. The first half of the second section was removed, and Rimsky-Korsakov dropped most of the major-key material save a brief fanfare figure. The whole work was subjected to a streamlining of orchestration and meter, and divided into symmetrical sections. Rimsky-Korsakov has often been accused of "composing" the "Matins Bell" section that concludes Bald Mountain, but in truth the music is all Mussorgsky's save the final flute trio at the very end. The Rimsky-Korsakov edition was an immediate worldwide success from the day it was launched and helped to establish Mussorgsky's name. It remains the most popular version of Mussorgsky's famous piece, although the original versions are available in modern editions and are revived to acclaim as well. Some conductors, such as Claudio Abbado and Esa-Pekka Salonen, have made personal specialties of the 1867 version.

Source: AllMusic (https://www.allmusic.com/composition/night-on-bald-mountain-noch-na-l%C3%AFsoy-gore-symphonic-poem-edited-by-rimsky-korsakov-mc0002369147 ).

Although originally created for full orchestra, I created this Interpretation of the "Night on Bald Mountain" A symphonic poem (IMM 43) for Small Orchestra (Piccolo, Flute, Oboe, Bb Clarinet, English Horn, Bassoon, Bb Trumpet, Flugelhorn, French Horn, Tuba, Timpani, Violins, Violas, Cellos & Bass).
"Domine non secundum" (FWV 66) for Woodwind Quartet & Piano
Custom audio

"Domine non secundum" (FWV 66) for Woodwind Quartet & Piano

5 parts4 pages03:049 days ago19 views
Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, Bassoon, Piano
César-Auguste-Jean-Guillaume-Hubert Franck (1822 – 1890) was a composer, pianist, organist, and music teacher who worked in Paris during his adult life. He was born at Liège, in what is now Belgium (though at the time of his birth it was part of the United Kingdom of the Netherlands). He gave his first concerts there in 1834 and studied privately in Paris from 1835, where his teachers included Anton Reicha. After a brief return to Belgium, and a disastrous reception to an early oratorio Ruth, he moved to Paris, where he married and embarked on a career as teacher and organist. He gained a reputation as a formidable improviser, and travelled widely in France to demonstrate new instruments built by Aristide Cavaillé-Coll.

In 1858 he became organist at Sainte-Clotilde, a position he retained for the rest of his life. He became professor at the Paris Conservatoire in 1872; he took French nationality, a requirement of the appointment. His pupils included Vincent d'Indy, Ernest Chausson, Louis Vierne, Charles Tournemire, Guillaume Lekeu and Henri Duparc. After acquiring the professorship Franck wrote several pieces that have entered the standard classical repertoire, including symphonic, chamber, and keyboard works.

This motet, written for Lent, sets individual verses from Psalms 102 and 78, also found in a similar compilation as a tract on Ash Wednesday. From the original scoring indication of “TRIO pour Soprano, Ténor et Basse avec accomp[agnemen]t d’Orgue”, we can conclude that Franck also envisaged a solo performance of this work. With its simple singability in the vocal parts and the well-balanced formal layout, the piece has many similarities with works by Mozart and Schubert.

Source: Carus (https://www.carus-verlag.com/en/choir/sacred-choral-music/c-sar-franck-domine-non-secundum.html ).

Although originally created for Accompanied chorus (STB), I created this Arrangement of the "Domine non secundum" (FWV 66) for Woodwind Quartet (Flute, Oboe, Bb Clarinet & Bassoon) & Piano.
Choral Prelude: "Gelobet seist du, Jesu Christ" (BuxWV 188) for Brass Quartet
Video

Choral Prelude: "Gelobet seist du, Jesu Christ" (BuxWV 188) for Brass Quartet

4 parts14 pages07:3010 days ago28 views
Trumpet(2), French Horn, Tuba
Dietrich Buxtehude is probably most familiar to modern classical music audiences as the man who inspired the young Johann Sebastian Bach to make a lengthy pilgrimage to Lubeck, Buxtehude's place of employment and residence for most of his life, just to hear Buxtehude play the organ. But Buxtehude was a major figure among German Baroque composers in his own right. Though we do not have copies of much of the work that most impressed his contemporaries, Buxtehude nonetheless left behind a body of vocal and instrumental music which is distinguished by its contrapuntal skill, devotional atmosphere, and raw intensity. He helped develop the form of the church cantata, later perfected by Bach, and he was just as famous a virtuoso on the organ.

This chorale prelude sets one of the principal Christmas tunes in the Lutheran liturgy. The text to verses 2 through 7 was written by Martin Luther. The text to the first verse reads as follows, "Praise be to you Jesus Christ, that you were born as a man from a virgin, it is true; That is why the hosts of angels rejoice. Kyrieleis."

This chorale prelude is one of Buxtehude's longest. Also Buxtehude does not treat the chorale melody in the same manner as most of his other chorale preludes. Rather than placing the chorale tune in the soprano, he tosses it around in all of the voices in the same manner as in the chorale fantasies of the previous generation. An ornamented version of the first phrase of the chorale appears in imitation in all of the voices for the first 36 measures of the piece. At measure 40-62, the second phrase of the chorale appears in the pedal against free spinning counterpoint in the other voices. Starting in measure 71 the third phrase of the chorale appears in the bass and soprano in alternation. From measure 99-139 Buxtehude plays with the fifth phrase of the chorale melody in a contrasting triplet rhythm with echo effects between two different divisions of the organ. The last 15 measures of the chorale prelude make brief reference to the sixth and final phrase of the chorale and pin a spectacular little coda on the end of the piece.

Source: AllMusic (https://www.allmusic.com/composition/chorale-prelude-for-organ-in-g-major-buxwv-188-gelobet-seist-du-jesu-christ-mc0002356619 ).

Although originally created for Organ, I created this Interpretation of the Choral Prelude: "Gelobet seist du, Jesu Christ" (BuxWV 188) for Brass Quartet (Bb Trumpet, Flugelhorn, French Horn & Tuba).
Hymne à Eros for Viola & Harp
Video

Hymne à Eros for Viola & Harp

2 parts7 pages03:3211 days ago21 views
Viola, Harp
Augusta Mary Anne Holmès is generally ranked a minor figure among French composers of her time, though a growing number of admirers consider her unjustly neglected. Her output includes a range of orchestral and choral works, songs, and operas.

Holmès was born in Paris in 1847 of Irish parents. She was raised in Versailles in an environment that provided her the finest education: at 12, she could speak English, German, and Italian, besides French, and was already composing songs, often using her own texts.

There is much myth surrounding Holmès' life -- myth she often encouraged. It is highly unlikely she ever attempted suicide in her teens because her mother tried to discourage her study of music; and the claim that her godfather and mentor, poet Alfred de Vigny, who bore a resemblance to her, was her biological father, is also probably untrue.

Her early music teachers included Versailles Cathedral organist Henri Lambert, with whom she studied harmony and counterpoint, Hyacinthe Klosé (orchestration), and Guillot de Sainbris (voice). In 1870-1871 Holmès was a nurse in the Franco-Prussian War, shortly after which she acquired French citizenship (despite her Parisian birth, she had been considered a foreign national).

Around 1875 she became a pupil of, or at least developed ties to, César Franck. Living in Paris now, she was financially secure as the sole heir to her father's considerable holdings. Though she had remained productive as a composer in her pre-Paris years, her output up until then included mostly songs. In the 1870s and thereafter she focused on larger works, like the successful 1878 choral piece Lutèce.

It was in the 1870s, too, that Holmès met librettist and critic Catulle Mendès, who would become her lover and father of her five children. She remained active as a composer during their two-decade relationship, producing many large works, among them the only opera of hers to be staged in her lifetime, La montagne noire, completed in 1884. The Opéra de Paris premiered it, but not until 1895, when it was tepidly received.

Holmès achieved great success with the symphonic poems Irlande (1882), Pologne (1883), and Ludus pro patria (1888), nationalistic works that fostered yet another myth, that she actively promoted the causes of oppressed peoples from abroad. Her last completed work, Le jugement de Naïs, for orchestra, dates to 1902. She died in Paris in January 1903.

Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Augusta_Holm%C3%A8s ).

Although originally composed for Voice & Piano (and arranged by Jenne Van Antwerpen for Flute & Piano), created this arrangement for Viola & Concert (Pedal) Harp) transposed to F Major.
Chorale: "Als Jesus Christus in der Nacht" (BWV 1108) for Pan Flute & Strings
Video

Chorale: "Als Jesus Christus in der Nacht" (BWV 1108) for Pan Flute & Strings

4 parts4 pages02:0111 days ago30 views
Other Woodwinds, Violin, Viola, Cello
The Neumeister Collection is a compilation of 82 chorale preludes found in a manuscript copy produced by Johann Gottfried Neumeister (1757–1840). When the manuscript was rediscovered at the Yale University in the 1980s it appeared to contain 31 previously unknown early chorale settings by Johann Sebastian Bach, which were added to the BWV catalogue as Nos. 1090–1120 and published in 1985.

There are 38 Bach chorale preludes in the Neumeister Collection, an assemblage of 82 chorales by various composers collected by Johann Gottfried Neumeister in the 1790s and later lost. Musicologist Christoph Wolff rediscovered them only in 1985 at the Yale Library. This Neumeister chorale prelude, "Als Jesus Christus in der Nacht" (As Jesus Christ in the Night), mostly follows Buxtehude's example in the genre rather than Bach's own individual manner as set forth in the 46 chorale preludes of Das Orgelbüchlein and other later chorale preludes. Not that it is imitative, but it does exhibit far less ornamentation and other features typically associated with Bach's mature organ works. This E minor work opens with the serene chorale theme played in a glorious but slightly somber manner. While Bach's writing exhibits contrapuntal characteristics, they are less in evidence than is typically the case in his keyboard works. In the second half of the piece, the music takes on a more spirited sense as Bach invests the writing with more ornamentation and contrapuntal activity. In the end, this approximately two-minute chorale prelude must be judged as a most worthwhile effort, not least because of the contrasting character of its first and second halves.

Source: AllMusic (https://www.allmusic.com/composition/als-jesus-christus-in-der-nacht-chorale-prelude-for-organ-neumeister-chorale-no-19-bwv-1108-bc-k181-mc0002356415).

Although originally written for Organ, I created this Arrangement of the Chorale Prelude "Als Jesus Christus in der Nacht" (As Jesus Christ in the Night) BWV 1108 for Pan Flute (or Recorder) & Strings (Violin, Viola & Cello).
Prélude, Fugue et Variation (FWV 30 Opus 18) for Double-Reed Quartet
Video

Prélude, Fugue et Variation (FWV 30 Opus 18) for Double-Reed Quartet

4 parts15 pages08:3412 days ago66 views
Oboe(2), English Horn, Bassoon
César-Auguste-Jean-Guillaume-Hubert Franck (1822 – 1890) was a composer, pianist, organist, and music teacher who worked in Paris during his adult life. He was born at Liège, in what is now Belgium (though at the time of his birth it was part of the United Kingdom of the Netherlands). He gave his first concerts there in 1834 and studied privately in Paris from 1835, where his teachers included Anton Reicha. After a brief return to Belgium, and a disastrous reception to an early oratorio Ruth, he moved to Paris, where he married and embarked on a career as teacher and organist. He gained a reputation as a formidable improviser, and travelled widely in France to demonstrate new instruments built by Aristide Cavaillé-Coll.

César Franck's Prélude, fugue et variations has become a popular work among organists and is familiar to music lovers even though they may not know its title or composer. Written in 1862, it is a part of the larger Six Pièces pour le Grand Orgue. After having worked as organist at the parish of Saint-Jean-Saint-François for seven years, Franck obtained the same appointment at Sainte-Clotilde, where he had been choirmaster for some time. It was at the latter church that he received his inspiration for Prélude. At his new post, he met with a monumental artistic challenge when the inventor-builder Aristide Cavaillé-Coll finished construction on a three-manual grand organ for the church in 1859. For the dedication of this instrument on December 19 of the same year, Franck played his Final in B Flat Major, Op. 21. His attachment to this particular organ was so great that it inspired him to immediately compose Six Pièces pour le Grand Orgue (1860-1862), which he followed with Trois Pièces pour le Grand Orgue (1878) and Trois Chorals (1890). These works were written at the height of the Romantic organ's popularity, which stretched between 1830 and 1930. This period's most popular organists were Charles-Marie Widor, Alexandre Pierre François Boëly, Louis Lefébure-Wély and of course, Franck, who in time became known as the only true "equal" of Johann Sebastian Bach as a composer for the organ. The Prélude was dedicated to Camille Saint-Saëns. The two men had similar posts and influences, and had both studied with François Benoist at the Paris Conservatoire.

A pastoral Prélude opens the work with a seductive oboe cantilena in the upper voice. Tournemire commented on the feel of this movement when he asked, "Can you not imagine a shepherd piping the beauties of nature...?" A brief bridge of nine bars of chordal harmony leads to the freely moving austere "fugue" that is parallel to Bach's A major Fugue. A satisfying link is made between this section and "variations" over a dominant pedal. The final portion returns to the work's opening oboe cantilena; here it soars through "Mendelssohnian" counterpoint that is both flowing and refreshing, bringing the work to a quiet end. When Franck composed Prélude, fugue et variations, along with the other five works in Six Pièces pour le Grand Orgue, he not only gracefully honored the new instrument at Sainte-Clotilde, but he also added greater majesty to the repertoire of the organ.

Source: AllMusic (https://www.allmusic.com/composition/pr%C3%A9lude-fugue-et-variations-for-organ-in-b-minor-op-18-fwv-30-mc0002362935 ).

Although originally created for Pipe Organ, I created this Interpretation of the Prélude, Fugue et Variation (FWV 30 Opus 18) for Double-Reed Quartet (2 Oboes, English Horn & Bassoon).
Contrapunctus VIII from the Art of the Fugue (BWV 1080 No. 8) for String Trio
Video

Contrapunctus VIII from the Art of the Fugue (BWV 1080 No. 8) for String Trio

3 parts9 pages06:1813 days ago61 views
Violin, Viola, Cello
Johann Sebastian Bach never completed The Art of Fugue, BWV 1080. It is a collection of contrapuntal movements with no definite order of presentation or instrumentation. Movements have been added and taken away from the final score over the years. Since the revival of popular interest in Bach's music in the 1850s, historians have narrowed the margin of error regarding the history and performance of The Art of Fugue with impressive efficiency. What is certain is that it is among the most gripping instrumental works that exists, demonstrating practically every composing technique available to Bach.

The work was among his estate; he probably did not discuss the work with anyone, or there would have been more pressure to have its mysteries settled before his passing. His son, Carl Philipp Emmanuel, found and published the work as he found it in 1751, still incomplete. It did not sell well. Originally it was thought that Bach had been working on it and died in a race to finish it. Research has proven that he began the piece in the early 1740s (he died in 1750) and returned to work on it further over the years. It has also intrigued alert listeners to hear the final, unfinished movement trail off with B flat, A, C, B natural, which in German musical terminology translates to the word "BACH." This poignant accident of history has done wonders for the general interest in the piece, though in its day the public considered this just shoddy, and C.P.E. Bach attempted to compensate purchasers with the inclusion of a well-known chorale prelude, which was not related to the rest of the work.

Listening to The Art of Fugue is hearing everything available to the composer of fugues, woven together better than any other composer has done, and rife with a sublime poetic energy. Throughout the twentieth century, a tenuously agreed upon arrangement of 22 movements makes up a most likely reliable incarnation of what the composer had in mind. It is slightly longer than 80 minutes in duration and alternates between keyboard and small ensemble as required. Most of it can be played on the keyboard, but exact instrumentation was not necessarily as specific in the early eighteenth century as it would be later on. The theme is not obscured at any point, though he sometimes reverses it, turns it upside down, or both, or combines these variations with the theme's original form, all performed concurrently. Simply writing a good canon takes skill, and what Bach manages with The Art of Fugue cannot be matched by anything in this regard, except perhaps a few of his other works, such as The Musical Offering. In spite of the technical/theoretical maelstrom The Art of Fugue leaves for scholars to wade into, there is nothing about its character to deter the casual listener. The opposite is true; it is almost impossible to find a more benevolent piece of music. One can listen to it for years with only a casual grasp of the greatness that lays amid the scintillating arabesques that pervade the material. Once entered into the world of this work, it will gradually reveal itself to maintain potency greater than most people expect music to be able to contain.

Source: AllMusic (http://www.allmusic.com/composition/die-kunst-der-fuge-the-art-of-the-fugue-for-keyboard-or-other-instruments-bwv-1080-mc0002368456).

Although originally written for keyboard, I created this Arrangement of the Contrapunctus VIII (BWV 1080 No. 8) for String Trio (Violin, Viola & Cello).

Prière in C# Minor (FWV 32 Opus 20) for String Quintet

5 parts14 pages10:4014 days ago53 views
Violin(2), Viola, Cello, Contrabass
César-Auguste-Jean-Guillaume-Hubert Franck (1822 – 1890) was a composer, pianist, organist, and music teacher who worked in Paris during his adult life. He was born at Liège, in what is now Belgium (though at the time of his birth it was part of the United Kingdom of the Netherlands). He gave his first concerts there in 1834 and studied privately in Paris from 1835, where his teachers included Anton Reicha. After a brief return to Belgium, and a disastrous reception to an early oratorio Ruth, he moved to Paris, where he married and embarked on a career as teacher and organist. He gained a reputation as a formidable improviser, and travelled widely in France to demonstrate new instruments built by Aristide Cavaillé-Coll.

César Franck was a deeply spiritual man; his compositions such as Prière (Prayer) in C sharp minor reflect his true nature. Composed in 1860, during his 25-year characteristically religious period, this work was written for organ as a personal meditation on grief, hope, and faith. It stirs up the historical purpose of this devotional instrument. The work represents the divine thoughts of an organist questioning the unfathomable mystery of the hereafter, overwhelmed by anguish. This masterpiece of lyricism makes it easy to imagine sound pouring from pipes which are positioned between heaven and earth, played by a solitary organist, acting as a mediator between God and man. This was the role that Franck allowed himself to occupy when he composed Prière and other religious works.

Just one of the Six Pièces pour le Grand Orgue (1860-1862), Prière was dedicated to the remarkable François Benoist, who taught for years as a professor of organ at the Paris Conservatoire. In the composition, Franck uses his much-adored registration of Foundation stops on the Pédale, Grand Orgue, Positif, and Récit together with the Hautbois. With its subtle use of the swell-box, the work reached the pinnacle of expressive organ writing. The first theme is an indeterminately long melodic phrase that feels as though it is springing from itself. It is in strict five-part harmony, cast in the manner of a chorale tune. This subject creates the foundation of the entire work and reappears either in cells, which form different episodes in the development, or is blended into one of the second theme's singing phrases. The composition grows to ecstatic heights of expression when a Gregorian chant-like solo recitative for the Trompette of the Récit merges with a restatement of the opening to close the work on a somber note. Using the fugal and canonical devices that Franck loved so much, the composition is rich and lyrical, straightforward, but profound. The astonishing musical and spiritual revolution which this piece achieves distinguishes it from other works of this period.

Alive during a time when the secular music of Mozart, Gluck, Beethoven, Schubert, and Schumann was celebrated, Franck had an interest in composition that was an antithesis of the majority of his fellow Frenchmen; he sought to return the organ to paths of spirituality and liturgical use. For the mastery of his instrument and the depth of his works, Franck has been considered the only true "equal" of Johann Sebastian Bach as a composer for the organ. His other religious compositions include Les béatitudes (1869-1879), Ave Maria (1863), Rédemption (1871-1872), and Les Sermon sur la Montagne (circa 1846). In short, Franck was a simple, warm-hearted man who was devoted to his work, to teaching, to composition, and to his instrument. He came closer to achieving his goal of restoring the taste for "pure music" in France, when he composed the spiritually touching Prière in 1860.

Source: AllMusic (https://www.allmusic.com/composition/pri%C3%A8re-for-organ-in-c-sharp-minor-op-20-fwv-32-mc0002658020 ).

Although originally created for Pipe Organ, I created this Interpretation of the Prière in C# Minor (FWV 32 Opus 20) for String Quintet (2 Violins, Biola, Cello & Bass).
Chorale: "Alle Menschen müssen sterben" (BWV 1117) for String Trio
Video

Chorale: "Alle Menschen müssen sterben" (BWV 1117) for String Trio

3 parts2 pages01:3315 days ago62 views
Violin, Viola, Cello
The Neumeister Collection is a compilation of 82 chorale preludes found in a manuscript copy produced by Johann Gottfried Neumeister (1757–1840). When the manuscript was rediscovered at the Yale University in the 1980s it appeared to contain 31 previously unknown early chorale settings by Johann Sebastian Bach, which were added to the BWV catalogue as Nos. 1090–1120 and published in 1985.

Alle Menschen müssen sterben (All People Must Die) is not to be confused with another piece by the same title, the BWV 643 from Das Orgelbüchlein, this work was one of 38 Bach chorales rediscovered in the Neumeister Collection that had been missing for two centuries. Musicologist Christoph Wolff found the manuscripts in the Yale Library in 1985, thus presenting the music world with a bevy of totally unknown Bach works. This one, was probably written before 1708, the year Bach began work in the service of the Duke of Sachsen-Weimar. Despite what many modern-day observers would consider a morbid title, the music to this work is quite uplifting, even triumphant. Bach was a deeply religious man who viewed death as a liberating experience leading to eternal salvation for righteous believers. The music here depicts that optimistic feeling, building from its glorious, quite happy theme a sense of expectation and excitement. Sonorities begin to rise about midway through, eventually leading to a triumphant chordal statement of the theme at the close. Bach's contrapuntal writing throughout is inventive and highly atmospheric in this approximately three-minute work.

Source: AllMusic (https://www.allmusic.com/composition/alle-menschen-m%C3%BCssen-sterben-ii-chorale-prelude-for-organ-neumeister-chorale-no-28-bwv-1117-bc-k190-mc0002369060).

Although originally written for Organ, I created this Arrangement of the Chorale Prelude "Alle Menschen müssen sterben" (All People Must Die) BWV 1117 for String Trio (Violin, Viola & Cello).
Pastorale in E Major (FWV 31 Opus 19) for Wind Ensemble
Video

Pastorale in E Major (FWV 31 Opus 19) for Wind Ensemble

7 parts17 pages08:1316 days ago55 views
Flute, Oboe, English Horn, Clarinet(2), French Horn, Bassoon
César-Auguste-Jean-Guillaume-Hubert Franck (1822 – 1890) was a composer, pianist, organist, and music teacher who worked in Paris during his adult life. He was born at Liège, in what is now Belgium (though at the time of his birth it was part of the United Kingdom of the Netherlands). He gave his first concerts there in 1834 and studied privately in Paris from 1835, where his teachers included Anton Reicha. After a brief return to Belgium, and a disastrous reception to an early oratorio Ruth, he moved to Paris, where he married and embarked on a career as teacher and organist. He gained a reputation as a formidable improviser, and travelled widely in France to demonstrate new instruments built by Aristide Cavaillé-Coll.

In the Baroque period, the term "pastoral" tied in to nativity music, as with the "Pastoral Symphony" from Handel's Messiah and a number of Italian concertos. One might expect that association to carry over to a later pastorale for organ, an instrument with religious connotations, but in his Op. 19 Pastorale Franck seems to have envisioned a secular nature scene more typical of the Romantic era, along the lines of Beethoven's "Pastoral" symphony. This composition was published as part of Franck's Six Pieces for Large Organ, but these works do not constitute a formal cycle; each item carries its own opus number and stands alone musically from the others. The Pastorale is dedicated to the great organ builder Aristide Cavaillé-Coll and is a modest display of the symphonic sonorities of the organ Cavaillé-Coll installed at Franck's church, Ste. Clotilde. It takes the sturdy song form ABA, with the outer sections based on two themes. One is rippling yet peaceful, played at a moderate tempo, and the second is based on a series of warm, not at all imposing chords. The central section, introduced by a trumpet-like fanfare, slips into the minor mode and is dominated by quick, staccato chords that produce a sense of speed and mild tension, soothed by a more legato melody. The A section returns after a little fugato passage, now combining its two themes, which are tainted with a bit of the B section's sixteenth note agitation.

Source: AllMusic (https://www.allmusic.com/composition/pastorale-for-organ-in-e-major-op-19-fwv-31-mc0002362480 ).

Although originally created for Pipe Organ, I created this Interpretation of the Pastorale in E Major (FWV 31 Opus 19) transposed to F Major for Wind Ensemble (Flute, Oboe, English Horn, Bb Clarinet, Bass Clarinet, French Horn & Bassoon).
Choral Prelude: "Komm, heiliger Geist, Herre Gott" (BuxWV 199) for Clarinet & Piano
Video

Choral Prelude: "Komm, heiliger Geist, Herre Gott" (BuxWV 199) for Clarinet & Piano

2 parts4 pages03:3317 days ago55 views
Clarinet, Piano
Dietrich Buxtehude is probably most familiar to modern classical music audiences as the man who inspired the young Johann Sebastian Bach to make a lengthy pilgrimage to Lubeck, Buxtehude's place of employment and residence for most of his life, just to hear Buxtehude play the organ. But Buxtehude was a major figure among German Baroque composers in his own right. Though we do not have copies of much of the work that most impressed his contemporaries, Buxtehude nonetheless left behind a body of vocal and instrumental music which is distinguished by its contrapuntal skill, devotional atmosphere, and raw intensity. He helped develop the form of the church cantata, later perfected by Bach, and he was just as famous a virtuoso on the organ.

The chorale melody set in these two preludes has its roots in the Gregorian chant repertoire. It is a German version of the Veni Sancte Spiritus chant. The chorale would have been sung at Pentecost. The text of the first verse reads as follows, "Come Holy Ghost, Lord God, fill with your good mercy the heart, soul, and mind of your faithful, igniting them with your burning love. Oh Lord, through your glowing light you have gathered to belief this people from all of the world's tongues. For this you are praised with song. Halleluja, Halleluja." Both of Buxtehude's settings of the chorale place the chorale melody in the soprano with a fair amount of embellishment.

Source: AllMusic (https://www.allmusic.com/composition/chorale-prelude-for-organ-in-g-minor-buxwv-198-jesus-christus-unser-heiland-mc0002356465 ).

Although originally created for Organ, I created this Interpretation of the Choral Prelude: "Komm heiliger Geist, Herre Gott" (BuxWV 199) for Bb Clarinet & Piano.
Final in Bb Major (FWV 33 Op. 21) for Winds & Strings
Custom audio

Final in Bb Major (FWV 33 Op. 21) for Winds & Strings

7 parts32 pages12:5418 days ago64 views
Flute, Oboe, Bassoon, Violin(2), Viola, Cello
César-Auguste-Jean-Guillaume-Hubert Franck (1822 – 1890) was a composer, pianist, organist, and music teacher who worked in Paris during his adult life. He was born at Liège, in what is now Belgium (though at the time of his birth it was part of the United Kingdom of the Netherlands). He gave his first concerts there in 1834 and studied privately in Paris from 1835, where his teachers included Anton Reicha. After a brief return to Belgium, and a disastrous reception to an early oratorio Ruth, he moved to Paris, where he married and embarked on a career as teacher and organist. He gained a reputation as a formidable improviser, and travelled widely in France to demonstrate new instruments built by Aristide Cavaillé-Coll.

Franck was appointed organist and choirmaster of the suburban Paris basilica of Sainte-Clotilde in 1858, as construction was being completed. Neither was the superb Cavaillé-Coll organ ready -- in fact, Franck did not inaugurate the instrument until a public concert of December 19, 1859. Yet there is no doubt that it reawakened his interest in composition, which had flagged after a youthful spate of undistinguished virtuoso fantasies, songs, sacred pieces, an unproduced opera and opéra comique, four remarkable Trios (1843) that impressed Liszt, and a startling symphonic poem, Ce qu'on entend sur la montagne (1845-1847), which anticipates the vast opening of Das Rheingold, but remained unpublished and unheard. Their precise dating is disputed, but the Six Pièces for organ seem to have taken shape between 1858 and 1864, though they were only published in 1868. Not without charm, the Fantaisie, Pastorale, and Prière breathe the air of religious sentiment. The Prélude, fugue et variation looks ahead to the great piano triptychs -- the Prélude, choral et fugue (1884) and the Prélude, aria et final (1886-1887) -- while the groundbreaking Grande pièce symphonique embodies the lessons of the master in its grandeur and the sure shaping of its material. Beethoven's example also informs the Final, which may be described as an exuberant, substantial sortie, though its robust, fanfare-like opening theme, given to the pedals, soon complemented by a serene melody over a running accompaniment, spaciously developed, suggests a sonata first movement. Its bravura winding up, on the other hand, is not innocent of an opéra comique vulgarity effervescently similar to some manic moments in the great (and misleadingly titled) Impromptu, Op. 69, of his friend Charles-Valentin Alkan, dedicatee of the Grande Pièce symphonique. The Final was dedicated to the once famous organist Louis James Alfred Lefébure-Wély, and was heard for the first time with Franck's premiere of the Six Pièces at Sainte-Clotilde on November 17, 1864.

Source: AllMusic (https://www.allmusic.com/composition/final-for-organ-in-b-flat-major-op-21-fwv-33-mc0002359098 ).

Although originally created for Pipe Organ, I created this Interpretation of the Final in Bb Major (FWV 33 Op. 21) for Winds (Flute, Oboe & Bassoon) & Strings (2 Violins, Viola & Cello).