Sheet music for Contrabass with 6 instruments

"Scotland the Brave" (Alba an àigh) for String Ensemble

6 parts5 pages03:152 years ago1,858 views
Violin(2), Viola(2), Cello, Contrabass
"Scotland the Brave" (Scottish Gaelic: "Alba an àigh" with àigh meaning joy, happiness, prosperity, luck, success - lots of good things, but not brave or bravery) is a Scottish patriotic song. It was one of several songs considered an unofficial national anthem of Scotland. Surprisingly, Scotland has no national anthem, although along with "Flower Of Scotland", the Gaelic Air "Alba An Aigh" rendered in English as "Scotland The Brave" is as good as. Written in 2/4 time, it is of surprisingly recent origin, and was published first around 1911 as "Scotland, The Brave!!!", and has been dated from around 1891-95, although the sentiment dates back to at least the 1820s. It was probably originally a flute solo, though the instrumental version is more usually played on the bagpipes.

The definitive lyrics were penned as recently as 1951. Glasgow man Cliff Hanley (1923-99) was an author, historian and broadcaster among his other talents; he wrote the new words for Robert Wilson, a performer who needed a song for the finale of his show at a Christmas Scottish review that was being performed at the Glasgow Empire Theatre.

"Scotland The Brave" is also known as "Brave Scotland", "My Bonnie Lass", My Bonnie Lassie" (with alternative lyrics) and as "Scotland Forever". "My Bonnie Lassie" was actually penned by two American songwriters Roy C. Bennett and Sid Tepper (who wrote songs for Elvis).

The instrumental version is also the authorised pipe band march of the British Columbia Dragoons of the Canadian Forces. In 2006, it was adopted as the regimental quick march of the Royal Regiment of Scotland.

In content, lyrically, it is similar to "Land Of My Fathers" and similar national anthems and patriotic songs, extolling the natural beauty of the country as well as the bravery of its warriors. This piece is hands-down, the most popular song for pipe bands to play in American parades.

Although this piece was originally written for Scottish Pipe bands, I arranged it for String Ensemble (2 Violins, 2 Violas, Cello & Bass) at the request of a follower.

"It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year" for Clarinet & Strings

6 parts4 pages01:29a year ago1,340 views
Clarinet, Violin(2), Viola, Cello, Contrabass
"It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year" is a popular Christmas song written in triple time in 1963 by Edward Pola and George Wyle. It was recorded and released that year by pop singer Andy Williams for his first Christmas album, The Andy Williams Christmas Album. However, the song was not released as a promotional single by Williams' record label (Columbia Records) that year, as they instead opted to promote his cover of "White Christmas" as the official promo single from the album.

The song is a celebration and description of activities associated with the Christmas season, focusing primarily on get-togethers between friends and families. Among the activities included in the song is the telling of "scary ghost stories," a Victorian Christmas tradition that has mostly fallen into disuse,[2][3] but survives in the seasonal popularity of numerous adaptations of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol. Other activities mentioned include hosting parties, spontaneous visits from friends, universal social gaiety, spending time with loved ones, sledding for children, roasting marshmallows, sharing stories about previous Christmases, and singing Christmas carols in winter weather.

In a 2005 interview, Williams discusses how The Andy Williams Show figured into his recording of "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year": "George Wyle, who is a vocal director, who wrote all of the choir stuff and all of the duets and trios and things that I did with all the guests, he wrote a song just for the show – I think the second Christmas show we did – called "Most Wonderful Time of the Year". So I did that, you know, every Christmas, and then other people started doing it. And then suddenly it's become – not suddenly but over 30 years – it's become a big standard. I think it's one of the top 10 Christmas songs of all time now."

Source: Wikipedia (

Although originally recorded for Voice and Orchestra, I created this arrangement for Bb Clarinet & Strings (2 Violins, Viola, Cello & Bass).
Concerto in Bb Major (HWV 294 Op. 4 No. 6) for Harp & String Ensemble

Concerto in Bb Major (HWV 294 Op. 4 No. 6) for Harp & String Ensemble

6 parts13 pages12:173 years ago1,221 views
Violin(2), Viola, Cello, Contrabass, Harp
Especially during the Baroque era, the most widely influential musical innovations frequently occurred more or less by chance, as composers used the materials at their disposal to best suit an immediate practical need. George Frideric Handel's invention of the organ concerto as a supplement to performances of his massive oratorios is just such a case -- Handel was simply using his legendary skill at the keyboard to keep his paying audience entertained while the singers took their much-needed intermissions. And so history's first real concertos for organ and orchestra appeared not to satisfy any inevitable artistic purpose but rather as a simple commercial aid; that the works are still so satisfying almost 300 years later is a credit to the composer's unfailing creativity.

Three large groups of these organ concertos were published during or immediately after Handel's lifetime: Op. 4 (HWV 289-294), which contains six concertos composed between 1735 and 1736; Op. 7 (HWV 306-311), whose six concertos were written between 1740 and 1751; and a group without opus number (HWV 295-300) that contains Concertos 13 and 14 and a handful of works arranged from some of Handel's concerti grossi. Concerto No. 15 (HWV 304) first appeared in print in 1797, while Concerto No. 16 is actually an adaptation of Handel's Concerto à due cori No. 3 (HWV 334). There are also a handful of unnumbered concertos, most if not all of which are adaptations of existing music.

Handel was quite resourceful when it came to form, and in the case of the organ concertos, no two works really follow the same pattern. The Concerto in G minor/major, Op. 4, No. 1, for instance, is a lengthy work whose three movements are fit into an unlikely slow-fast-medium vessel (Larghetto/Allegro/Andante), while the very next work (the Concerto in B flat major, Op. 4, No. 2), with its four-movement slow-fast-slow-fast plan, is a classic example of the trio sonata/concerto grosso format. A more modern three-movement fast-slow-fast concerto format is seen in the Concerto in B flat, Op. 4, No. 6 (published for organ but first performed as a harp concerto), while the first work of the Op. 7 group is built around a massive, two-movement chaconne.

Throughout these concertos, the orchestra plays a role far more subordinate to the soloist than one usually finds in concertos of the time; in the opening Andante allegro of the Op. 4, No. 6 concerto, for example, the orchestra appears in just 20 of the movement's 66 measures. Here, as in most of the concertos, the tutti serves just to open and close the movement, and to provide support for a few major internal cadences.

By and large, the Op. 7 pieces are more polished works than those of Op. 4, better balanced and frequently sewn of more complex material. A particular delight is the Concerto in A major, Op. 7, No. 2, first performed on February 5, 1743, at a performance of Samson. This three-movement work opens with an Ouverture in regal dotted rhythms, and then plunges headlong into an Allegro of unusually thick scoring. Atypically, the organ doesn't venture out on its own until midway through the movement, when it makes up for its previous reticence with a most satisfying outburst of trills and -- if one chooses to play the pseudo-cadenza that Handel composed but which for some reason never found its way into the 1761 publication -- some electric left-hand fingerwork.

Source: AllMusic (

Although originally written for Organ & Orchestra, I created this Interpretation of the Concerto in Bb Major (HWV 294 Opus 4 No 6) for Concert (Pedal) Harp & Strings (2 Violins, Viola, Cello & Bass).

Concerto in E Minor (RV 484) for Viola & Strings

6 parts27 pages10:442 years ago1,151 views
Viola(2), Violin(2), Cello, Contrabass
Antonio Vivaldi was one of the composers of the Baroque era that changed the form of the concerto from the Concerto Grosso to the Solo Concerto. The Concerto Grosso divided the instrumental group into two sections; the concertino, a small group of soloists and the ripieno, the rest of the orchestra. The concertino would take turns playing musical material as soloists and play together as a small group while the ripieno played between episodes of the concertino.

Arcangelo Corelli brought the form of Concerto Grosso to its peak early in the 18th century, and many composers continued to use the form. While Corelli usually used two violins and cello as the concertino and a string orchestra as the ripieno (as did Handel), the six Brandenburg Concertos of J.S. Bach saw many different combinations of both concertino and ripieno.

As composers are as much evolutionary as revolutionary, the concerto grosso began to go out of fashion and something new was beginning. The newest form of concerto was the Solo Concerto in which a single solo instrument played musical material to the accompaniment of the orchestra. Antonio Vivaldi was a composer that became famous for his solo concertos (although he continued to write concerto grossi for various combinations). His music influenced Bach, Handel and other composers to write in the form. Vivaldi wrote over 500 solo concertos, with about half of them for his instrument, the violin. But he wrote for most instruments in the orchestra. No one knows who the bassoonist was that he wrote his 39 bassoon concertos for, but whoever it was must have been very good for Vivaldi does not spare the soloist difficulties.

The Bassoon Concerto In E Minor (RV 484) is one of Vivaldi's most recognizable and is constructed in the typical three movements:

I. Allegro poco - A serious mood is set immediately by the string orchestra as they begin the movement. The bassoon enters and gives its take on the theme. The orchestra and soloist alternate as was the usual practice of the ritornello form Vivaldi used, and the theme is developed and changed in the dialogue between soloist and orchestra. Vivaldi has the soloist play rapid arpeggios that are similar to what a solo violin would do in a violin concerto.

II. Andante - A serious introduction is given by the strings. When the bassoon enters the mood is softened as the bassoon sings mellow music. The short movement ends with the strings.

III. Allegro - Vivaldi returns to the quick music style of the first movement. The string orchestra part leads the bassoon to some rapid music and difficult figurations.

Although originally created for Bassoon, Strings and Continuo, I created this arrangement for Viola & Strings (2 Violins, Viola, Cello & Bass)

"The Christmas Song" for Oboe & Strings

6 parts5 pages02:56a year ago1,122 views
Oboe, Violin(2), Viola, Cello, Contrabass
"The Christmas Song" (commonly subtitled "Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire" or, as it was originally subtitled, "Merry Christmas to You") is a classic Christmas song written in 1945 by Bob Wells and Mel Tormé.

According to Tormé, the song was written during a blistering hot summer. In an effort to "stay cool by thinking cool", the most-performed (according to BMI) Christmas song was born. "I saw a spiral pad on his (Wells') piano with four lines written in pencil", Tormé recalled. "They started, 'Chestnuts roasting..., Jack Frost nipping..., Yuletide carols..., Folks dressed up like Eskimos.' Bob didn't think he was writing a song lyric. He said he thought if he could immerse himself in winter he could cool off. Forty minutes later that song was written. I wrote all the music and some of the lyrics."

The Nat King Cole Trio first recorded the song early in 1946. At Cole's behest – and over the objections of his label, Capitol Records – a second recording was made later the same year utilizing a small string section, this version becoming a massive hit on both the pop and R&B charts. Cole again recorded the song in 1953, using the same arrangement with a full orchestra arranged and conducted by Nelson Riddle, and once more in 1961, in a stereophonic version with orchestra conducted by Ralph Carmichael. Cole's 1961 version is generally regarded as definitive, and in 2004 was the most-loved seasonal song with women aged 30–49, while the original 1946 recording was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1974.

Source: Wikipedia (

Although originally written for Piano and Voice, I created this Arrangement for Oboe & Strings (2 Violins, Viola, Cello & Bass).

Flute Sonata (Opus 1 No 1) for Flutes & Strings

6 parts16 pages07:273 years ago937 views
Flute(4), Cello, Contrabass
Charles John Stanley (1712 -- 1786) was an English composer and organist.

Blinded at age 2, John Stanley began desultory music lessons when he was 7 and, after a false start, progressed so quickly that he was made organist at a nearby church when he was only 12. Stanley would grow up to become the leading English organist of his day and a major figure in London's musical scene, not only as an instrumentalist but also as a composer in the Handel style.

Stanley rose quickly in the English organ world; already a veteran of the loft at age 22, he was made organist to the Honourable Society of the Inner Temple in 1734. His performances of his own organ voluntaries there and at other churches drew large audiences more curious about the music than the liturgy. He had academic credentials, too; in 1729 he had become the youngest person ever to have received a bachelor's of music degree from Oxford.

Stanley married well in 1738; not only did his wife bring a substantial dowry, but she brought a sister who would eventually work as Stanley's amanuensis. Stanley would write a fair amount of his own music, but he supported himself mainly as a performer. He conducted several Handel oratorios during the final decade of that composer's life, and succeeded Handel in 1759 as co-director of the Lenten oratorio season at Covent Garden (oratorios replaced operas during Lent). Stanley provided a couple of his own oratorios for this series, but they were too imitative of the dead Handel to achieve much success. Among his other appointments and honors was succeeding William Boyce as Master of the King's Band of Musicians in 1779, which led him to compose more than a dozen birthday and New Year odes for official ceremonies.

In his compositional style, Stanley was a transitional figure between Handel and J.C. Bach; the change can be seen by comparing Stanley's Opus 2 concertos, which very much followed the Handel/Corelli model, to his more elegant, less fugal, pre-Classical Opus 10 concertos of some three decades later. His organ voluntaries, on the other hand, all composed fairly early in his career, are clearly creatures of the English Baroque era, hewing to standard formats and requiring instruments of only modest resources.

Although this piece was originally written for Flute (Recorder) and continuo, I created this arrangement for for a listener specifically for his ensemble of Flute Quartet (4 Flutes) and Strings (Cello & Contrabass).

"Anitra's Dance" from Peer Gynt (Suite No 1 Opus 46) For Oboe & Strings

6 parts6 pages03:41a year ago935 views
Oboe, Violin(2), Viola, Cello, Contrabass
To most of the concert-going public, Edvard Grieg is only familiar as the composer of two fabulously popular concert works: the Concerto for piano and orchestra, and the first Orchestral Suite extracted from the incidental music to Henrik Ibsen's play, Peer Gynt. Ever since the Peer Gynt Suite No.1, Op.46 appeared in the late 1880s it has been a staple of the orchestral repertory. Indeed, it is safe to say that its four constituent pieces are among the most frequently played and immediately recognizable ever written; yet, in a good performance, they still retain a great deal of their original vitality and freshness.

Ibsen's five-act drama concerns a young Norwegian ruffian named Peer Gynt, who dreams of becoming emperor of the world. His sundry adventures--abducting a bride-to-be during her wedding, abandoning her for another woman, being tormented by gnomes, posturing as a prophet among the Arabs, eloping with and being subsequently double-crossed by an Arab princess, and finally returning to Norway--are the stuff of high drama and adventure, and are rough and isolated in a way that is peculiarly Nordic. Grieg captures this tone perfectly.

After a single, magical E major chord, "Anitra's Dance" begins with a buoyant violin melody over a compelling pizzicato background. This little theme is taken through several small harmonic adventures during the middle of the dance (including a warm and welcome, albeit brief, pass through D major). During the reprise of the opening section Grieg allows for some melodic imitation by the celli.

Source: AllMusic (

Although originally created for Orchestra, I created this arrangement of the "Anitra's Dance" for Oboe & Strings (Violins, Violas, Cellos & Bass).

Mazurka in B Minor (Opus 66) for Clarinet & Strings

6 parts18 pages04:342 years ago889 views
Clarinet, Violin(2), Viola, Cello, Contrabass
Camille Saint-Saëns was something of an anomaly among French composers of the nineteenth century in that he wrote in virtually all genres, including opera, symphonies, concertos, songs, sacred and secular choral music, solo piano, and chamber music. He was generally not a pioneer, though he did help to revive some earlier and largely forgotten dance forms, like the bourée and gavotte. He was a conservative who wrote many popular scores scattered throughout the various genres: the Piano Concerto No. 2, Symphony No. 3 ("Organ"), the symphonic poem Danse macabre, the opera Samson et Dalila, and probably his most widely performed work, The Carnival of The Animals. While he remained a composer closely tied to tradition and traditional forms in his later years, he did develop a more arid style, less colorful and, in the end, less appealing. He was also a poet and playwright of some distinction.

Saint-Saëns was born in Paris on October 9, 1835. He was one of the most precocious musicians ever, beginning piano lessons with his aunt at two-and-a-half and composing his first work at three. At age seven he studied composition with Pierre Maledin. When he was ten, he gave a concert that included Beethoven's Third Piano Concerto, Mozart's B flat Concerto, K. 460, along with works by Bach, Handel, and Hummel. In his academic studies, he displayed the same genius, learning languages and advanced mathematics with ease and celerity. He would also develop keen, lifelong interests in geology and astronomy.

Curiously, after 1890, Saint-Saëns' music was regarded with some condescension in his homeland, while in England and the United States he was hailed as France's greatest living composer well into the twentieth century. Saint-Saëns experienced an especially triumphant concert tour when he visited the U.S. in 1915. In the last two decades of his life, he remained attached to his dogs and was largely a loner. He died in Algeria on December 16, 1921.

Source: Allmusic (

Although originally composed for piano, I created this interpretation for A Clarinet and Strings (2 Violins, Viola, Cello & Bass).

"Kangaroos" from the "Carnival of the Animals" for Strings

6 parts3 pages00:482 years ago860 views
Violin(2), Viola(2), Cello, Contrabass
"The Carnival of the Animals" is a musical suite of fourteen movements by the French Romantic composer Camille Saint-Saëns.

It was composed in February 1886 while Saint-Saëns was vacationing in a small Austrian village. It was originally scored for a chamber group of flute/piccolo, clarinet (B flat and C), two pianos, glass harmonica, xylophone, two violins, viola, cello and double bass, but is usually performed today with a full orchestra of strings, and with a glockenspiel substituting for the rare glass harmonica. The term for this rare 11-piece musical ensemble is a "hendectet" or an "undectet."

Saint-Saëns, apparently concerned that the piece was too frivolous and likely to harm his reputation as a serious composer, suppressed performances of it and only allowed one movement, Le cygne, to be published in his lifetime. Only small private performances were given for close friends like Franz Liszt.

Saint-Saëns did, however, include a provision which allowed the suite to be published after his death. It was first performed on 26 February 1922, and it has since become one of his most popular works. It is a favorite of music teachers and young children, along with Prokofiev's Peter and the Wolf and Britten's The Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra. In fact, it is very common to see any combination of these three works together on modern CD recordings.

Movement 6. Kangourous (Kangaroos) illustrates the playful Kanfgaroos in notes with the main figure as a pattern of 'hopping' fifths preceded by grace notes.

Although originally written for 2 Pianos (duet), I created this arrangement for Strings (2 Violins, 2 Violas, Cello & Bass).

"Let there be Peace on Earth" (UMH # 431) for Flute & Strings

6 parts5 pages03:49a year ago740 views
Flute, Violin(2), Viola, Cello, Contrabass
Let There Be Peace on Earth" is a song written by Jill Jackson-Miller and Sy Miller in 1955. It was initially written for and sung by the International Children's Choir created by Easter Beakly and Arthur Granger of the Granger Dance Academy in Long Beach, California. The song's composers led a number of rehearsals for the children's choir from 1955 to 1957, and the song continues to be the theme for this group of children who represent a host of nations and who sang in Washington, DC at the JW Marriott next to the White House in 2002.

Jackson-Miller, who had been suicidal after the failure of a marriage, later said that she wrote the song after discovering what she called the "life-saving joy of God's peace and unconditional love." The song is performed worldwide throughout the year, and particularly during the Christmas season, which has led to it being considered a Christmas song. It is included in the hymnals of a variety of Christian denominations, and is used in worship services even by a number of denominations that do not include it in their hymnals.

The original lyrics for "Let There Be Peace on Earth" have been altered on many occasions for differing reasons, including for gender neutrality (where "father" is replaced with "creator", and "brother" is replaced with "family" or "each other"), and secularity (where "God as our Father" is replaced with "Earth as our Mother" or "love as our compass").

Source: Wikipedia (

Although originally composed for Voice (SATB), I created this Arrangement for Flute & Strings (2 Violins, Viola, Cello & Bass).
Erlkönig (D.328 Op. 1) for Oboe & Strings

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

6 parts11 pages04:135 months ago722 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 ( ).

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).

Toccata from the "Suite Gothique" (Op. 25 Mvt. 4) for String Ensemble

6 parts19 pages04:352 years ago718 views
Violin(2), Viola(2), Cello, Contrabass
Léon Boëllmann (September 25, 1862 – October 11, 1897) was a French composer of Alsatian origin, known for a small number of compositions for organ. His best-known composition is Suite gothique (1895), still very much a staple of the organ repertoire, especially its dramatic concluding Toccata.

The Suite consists of four movements:

Introduction - Choral (C minor)
Menuet gothique (C major)
Prière à Notre-Dame (A-flat major)
Toccata (C minor)

The first movement (Introduction - Choral) is in C minor and is made up of harmonized choral phrases that are first played in block chords on the great and pedals, and then repeated, piano, on the Swell.
The second movement (Menuet gothique) is in 3/4 time and in C major.
The third movement (Prière à Notre-Dame) is in A-flat major. It rarely uses dynamics above 'piano'. This movement is often played at weddings.
The final fourth movement (Toccata) is the best-known of the suite. This movement returns to C minor, ending with a Tierce de Picardie on full organ.

Source: Wikipedia (,_Op.25_(Bo%C3%ABllmann,_L%C3%A9on)).

Although originally written for Pipe Organ, I created this Arrangement of the Toccata from the Suite Gothique (Op.25 Mvt. 4) for String Ensemble (2 Violins, 2 Violas, Cello & Bass).

"La Vallee des Cloches" from "Miroirs" (M. 43 No. 5) for Marimba & Strings

6 parts12 pages06:482 years ago648 views
Percussion, Violin(2), Viola, Cello, Contrabass
Joseph Maurice Ravel (1875 – 1937) was a French composer, pianist and conductor. He is often associated with impressionism along with his elder contemporary Claude Debussy, although both composers rejected the term. In the 1920s and 1930s Ravel was internationally regarded as France's greatest living composer.

Born to a music-loving family, Ravel attended France's premier music college, the Paris Conservatoire; he was not well regarded by its conservative establishment, whose biased treatment of him caused a scandal. After leaving the conservatoire Ravel found his own way as a composer, developing a style of great clarity, incorporating elements of baroque, neoclassicism and, in his later works, jazz. He liked to experiment with musical form, as in his best-known work, Boléro (1928), in which repetition takes the place of development. He made some orchestral arrangements of other composers' music, of which his 1922 version of Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition is the best known.

Miroirs is a suite for solo piano written by French composer Maurice Ravel between 1904 and 1905. First performed by Ricardo Viñes in 1906, Miroirs contains five movements, each dedicated to a fellow member of the French avant-garde artist group, Les Apaches.

Around 1900, Maurice Ravel joined a group of innovative young artists, poets, critics, and musicians referred to as Les Apaches or "hooligans", a term coined by Ricardo Viñes to refer to his band of "artistic outcasts". To pay tribute to his fellow artists, Ravel began composing Miroirs in 1904 and finished it the following year. It was first published by E. Demets in 1906. Movements 3 and 4 were subsequently orchestrated by Ravel, while Movement 5 was orchestrated by Percy Grainger, among others.

La vallée des cloches ("The Valley of Bells") is movement 5 and is dedicated to Maurice Delage, the piece evokes the sounds of various bells through its use of sonorous harmonies.

Source: Wikipedia (

Although originally written for Piano, I created this unique Interpretation for Marimba & Strings (2 Violins, Viola, Cello & Bass).

March from "The Love of Three Oranges" (Opus 33) for String Ensemble

6 parts5 pages01:47a year ago644 views
Violin(2), Viola(2), Cello, Contrabass
Sergei Prokofiev's comic opera The Love for Three Oranges, Op. 33 (1919) won a place in the repertoire only with great difficulty. First produced in 1921, the work was greeted with rather dismal reviews and an even worse public response. Prokofiev found a partial solution to this problem by extracting six numbers from the opera, revising them, and assembling them into a six-movement concert suite in 1924.

"The Ridiculous People," adapted from the opera's prologue, depicts the arguments between the various characters (represented by distinct instrumental ideas) and the ultimate subjugation of their ideas by the forceful Ridiculous People themselves. In "Scene from Hades," Prokofiev uses eerie instrumental effects to represent a card game played by Fata Morgana in Hell. The "March," made famous by dozens of arrangements (it was a staple of violinist Jascha Heifetz's recitals), finds the sick Prince being carried to a party contrived to make him smile. The movement's march rhythms are continually inflected by strident, "wrong-note" sonorities. The remainder of the suite is comprised of "Scherzo" (here reworked into an effective orchestral miniature), a romantic interlude ("The Prince and the Princess"), and "Flight," a comic romp in which the villains are finally routed.

Source: AllMusic (

Although originally created for orchestra, I created this interpretation for String Ensemble (2 Violins, 2 Violas, Cello & Bass).

Sonata: "Himmelskönig, sei Willkommen" (BWV 182 No 1) for Flute & Strings

6 parts5 pages03:304 years ago554 views
Flute, Violin(2), Viola, Cello, Contrabass
Himmelskönig, sei willkommen (King of Heaven, welcome), BWV 182, is a church cantata by Johann Sebastian Bach. He composed it in Weimar for Palm Sunday, and first performed it on 25 March 1714, which was also the feast of the Annunciation that year.

In Weimar, Bach was the court organist of Johann Ernst von Sachsen-Weimar. On 2 March 1714, he was promoted to Konzertmeister, an honour which included a monthly performance of a church cantata in the Schloßkirche. According to Bach scholar Alfred Dürr, this cantata is Bach's first cantata for the court of Weimar, in a series which was meant to cover all Sundays within four years. It preceded Weinen, Klagen, Sorgen, Zagen, BWV 12. Bach first performed it in the Schlosskirche on Palm Sunday, 25 March 1714. Other than in Leipzig, where tempus clausum was observed during Lent and no cantatas were permitted, Bach could perform in Weimar a cantata especially meant for the entry of Jesus into Jerusalem. The prescribed readings for the day were from the Epistle to the Philippians, "everyone be in the spirit of Christ" (Philippians 2:5--11), or from the First Epistle to the Corinthians, "of the Last Supper" (1 Corinthians 11:23--32), and from the Gospel of Matthew, the entry into Jerusalem (Philippians 2:5--11).

The poetry was written by the court poet Salomon Franck, although the work is not found in his printed editions. Bach's biographer Philipp Spitta concluded this from stylistic comparison and observing a lack of recitatives between arias. The poetry derives from the entry into Jerusalem a similar entry into the heart of the believer, who should prepare himself and will be given heavenly joy in return. The language intensifies the mystical aspects: "Himmelskönig" (King of Heaven), "Du hast uns das Herz genommen" (You have taken our hearts from us), "Leget euch dem Heiland unter" (Lay yourselves beneath the Savior). The chorale in movement 7 is the final stanza 33 of Paul Stockmann's hymn for Passiontide "Jesu Leiden, Pein und Tod" (1633).

A da capo sign after the last aria in some parts suggests that originally the cantata was meant to be concluded by a repeat of the opening chorus.

As Bach could not perform the cantata in Leipzig on Palm Sunday, he used it on the feast of Annunciation on 25 March 1724, which had coincided with Palm Sunday for the first performance. He performed it in Leipzig two more times.

The cantata is intimately scored to match the church building. An instrumental Sonata in the rhythm of a French Overture depicts the arrival of the King. (In his cantata Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland, BWV 61, for Advent that same year on the same reading, Bach went further and set a chorus in the form of such an overture). The recorder and a solo violin are accompanied by pizzicato in the divided violas and the continuo. The first chorus is in da capo form, beginning with a fugue, which leads to a homophonic conclusion. The middle section contains two similar canonic developments.

The following Bible quote is set as the only recitative of the cantata. It is given to the bass as the vox Christi (voice of Christ) and expands to an arioso. The instrumentation of the three arias turns from the crowd in the Biblical scene to the individual believer, the first accompanied by violin and divided violas, the second by a lone recorder, the last only by the continuo.

The chorale is arranged in the manner of Pachelbel; every line is first prepared in the lower voices, then the soprano sings the cantus firmus, while the other voices interpret the words, for example by fast movement on "Freude" (joy). The closing chorus is, according to conductor John Eliot Gardiner, "a sprightly choral dance that could have stepped straight out of a comic opera of the period".

Although this cantata was scored for alto, tenor, and bass soloists, a four-part choir, recorder, two violins, two violas and basso continuo, I created this arrangement for Flute & Strings (2 Violins, Viola, Cello & Bass).

"Pas Redoublé" in Bb Major (Opus 86) for String Ensemble

6 parts14 pages04:042 years ago545 views
Violin(2), Viola(2), Cello, Contrabass
Paris-born Charles Camille Saint-Saëns was a child prodigy, composing his first piece for piano at the age of three. He was a private student of Gounod and entered the Paris Conservatory at age 13. Saint-Saëns had total recall; any book he read or tune he heard was forever committed to his memory.

This rollicking two-step halfway between a march and a polka was originally composed by Camille Saint-Saëns 1n 1890 for piano using four-hands (two people playing the same piano).

"Pas Redoublé" was originally written for four-hand piano. The tempo varies with the proficiency of the performers, as well as the wishes of the composer and the customs of the period. During the mid-nineteenth century, military units in some nations were marching to a cadence of about 90 steps per minute for the slow march (pas ordinaire), 120 for the quick march (pas redoublé), and 160 to 180 for the double-quick march (pas de charge). I chose an Allegro tempo of 120bpm for this transcription and incorporated what I believe are accurate articulations and ornaments within the capabilities of MuseScore.

Although originally written for Piano (4 Hands), I created this interpretation for String Ensemble (2 Violins, 2 Violas, Cello & Bass).

Sinfonia: "Wer Dank opfert, der preiset mich" (BWV 18 No 1) for Flute & Strings

6 parts8 pages03:073 years ago488 views
Flute, Violin(2), Viola, Cello, Contrabass
Gleichwie der Regen und Schnee vom Himmel fällt (Just as the rain and snow fall from heaven), BWV 18,[a] is an early church cantata by Johann Sebastian Bach. He composed it in Weimar for the Sunday Sexagesimae, the second Sunday before Lent, likely by 1713.

Bach worked for the court in Weimar from 1708. On 2 March 1714 Bach was appointed concertmaster of the Weimar court capelle of the co-reigning dukes Wilhelm Ernst and Ernst August of Saxe-Weimar. As concertmaster, he assumed the principal responsibility for composing new works, specifically cantatas for the Schlosskirche (palace church), on a monthly schedule. Bach composed this cantata for the second Sunday before Ash Wednesday, called Sexagesima.

The cantata falls relatively early in Bach's chronology of cantata compositions. It was possibly composed for 24 February 1715, but more likely a year or two earlier. Christoph Wolff states: "The original performing material has survived and allows us to date the work to 1713". Bach performed the cantata again in Leipzig in 1724, with an expanded scoring in a different key. It was then probably performed in the same service as the newly composed Leichtgesinnte Flattergeister, BWV 181.

The keys in this section refer to the Weimar version, although the recording by Masaaki Suzuki, with commentary by Klaus Hofmann, uses the Leipzig keys. Hofmann notes the work's "Lutheran character", quoting Luther's litany inserted in the third movement, and sees it as a "recitative study, exploring the secco recitative of the Italian opera, introduced by Erdmann Neumeister, and also the accompagnato with rich instrumental accompaniment. Gardiner finds all three cantatas for the occasion, dealing with God's word, "characterised by his vivid pictorial imagination, an arresting sense of drama, and by music of freshness and power that lodges in the memory".

The cantata opens with a sinfonia in G minor, which illustrates falling rain and snow in descending phrases. In da capo form, is reminiscent both of a chaconne and a concerto. The four violas and continuo, with bassoon and cello parts specified, create an unusual sound, termed "magically dark-hued sonority" by Gardiner.

The quotation from Isaiah is sung by the bass, the vox Christi (voice of Christ), in a secco recitative. This is Bach's first adaptation of recitative in a church cantata, not following operatic patterns, but "a lucid presentation of the text in a dignified, highly personal style".

The central movement is unique in Bach's cantatas, the choir soprano interrupts the prayer of the male soloists four times, followed by a conclusion of the full choir "Erhör uns, lieber Herre Gott!" (Hear us, dear Lord God!). The recitatives are marked adagio in E-flat major, while the interspersed litany is presented dramatically (allegro in C minor). Gardiner compares the imagery of the recitatives: "all adds up to a vivid, Brueghel-like portrayal of rural society at work – the sower, the glutton, the lurking devil, as well as those pantomime villains, the Turks and the Papists.

Like other cantatas written in Weimar, the cantata is scored for a small ensemble, composed of soprano, tenor, and bass soloists, a four-part choir, four violas, cello, bassoon and basso continuo. The setting for four violas is unusual. In a similar orchestration, the Brandenburg Concerto No. 6 also omits violins. The second version of this cantata for a performance in Leipzig adds two recorders, which double viola I and II an octave higher. John Eliot Gardiner compares the effect to a four-foot stop on a pipe organ. The cantata begins in G minor in the Weimar version, in A minor in the Leipzig version.

The only aria, for soprano in E-flat major, is accompanied by the four violas in unison. The cantata closes with a four-part setting of Spengler's hymn stanza, Bach's first of many to come as the typical conclusion of his cantatas.

Source: Wikipedia (,_BWV_18).

I created this arrangement of the Opening Sinfonia: "Gleichwie der Regen und Schnee vom Himmel fällt" (Just as the rain and snow fall from heaven) for Flute & Strings (2 Violins, Viola, Cello & Bass).

Coro: "Aus tiefer Not schrei ich zu dir" (BWV 38 No 1) for Horn & Strings

6 parts6 pages04:213 years ago453 views
French Horn, Violin(2), Viola, Cello, Contrabass
Aus tiefer Not schrei ich zu dir (Out of deep distress I cry to you), BWV 38,[a] is a church cantata by Johann Sebastian Bach. Bach composed the chorale cantata in Leipzig in 1724 in his second annual cycle for the twenty-first Sunday after Trinity and first performed it on 19 October 1724.

Bach composed this chorale cantata in Leipzig in 1724. Written for the twenty-first Sunday after Trinity, it was part of his second annual cycle of cantatas. The work was first performed on 19 October 1724.

The prescribed readings for the Sunday were from Paul's Epistle to the Ephesians, "take unto you the whole armour of God" (Ephesians 6:10–17), and from the Gospel of John, the healing of the nobleman's son (John 4:46–54).

The cantata is based on the Martin Luther's chorale Aus tiefer Not schrei ich zu dir, a paraphrase of Psalm 130. The texts of the chorale is unchanged for the first and last movements. An unknown poet paraphrased the other three stanzas of the chorale for movements 2 to 5.

The opening choral fantasia combines the structure of a motet with chromatic and dissonant Phrygian harmonies. The trombones double the vocal lines, creating an "unearthly Stygian quality of sound". Although the lower voices have the initial melodic presentation, it is adopted by the soprano as a cantus firmus. Each phrase appears in imitative counterpoint, a "portrayal of the individual cries of distress which coalesce to form a combined human clamour".

Like the fantasia, the alto recitative is stylistically archaic. Its "semi-chaotic" form may reflect the tumult of evil and sin. The tenor aria is expressive with a prominent rhythmic motive. It sits in a four-part texture between the oboes and continuo part. The fourth movement, a soprano recitative, adopts the chorale melody as the continuo. The trio aria uses a descending sequential ritornello based on the circle of fifths, contrasting with the "serpentine" vocal lines. The closing chorale is striking, with an "enigmatic" final cadence.

The piece is scored for four vocal soloists (soprano, alto, tenor, bass) and four-part choir, two oboes, four trombones, two violins, viola, and basso continuo (specifically including fagotto, violone, violoncello, and organ).

Source: Wikipedia (,_BWV_38).

I created this arrangement of the Opening Coro (choral fantasia) "Aus tiefer Not schrei ich zu dir" (Out of deep distress I cry to you) for French Horn & Strings (2 Violins, Viola, Cello & Bass).

Brandenburg Concerto No. 6 in Bb Major (BWV 1051) for Strings

6 parts46 pages16:32a year ago433 views
Viola(4), Cello, Contrabass
Johann Sebastian Bach's Brandenburg Concerto No. 6 in B flat major, BWV 1051 is the final concerto in a set of works dedicated to Christian Ludwig, Margrave of Brandenburg. (It may actually have been the first composed, however.) They were intended as a job application, but the job did not appear. Bach's sonic imagination was seemingly limitless, and for this final concerto he chose to limit the work's instrumentation to strings and continuo, meaning that the only non-bowed instrument heard is the harpsichord.

Every other concerto in the set made extensive use of contrasting timbres, balancing the strings with the winds, often in unprecedented ways. This limitation of timbre is also extended to register; there are no violins, just two violas, two violas da gamba, a cello, and the violone, which is near the cello range and is from the gamba family. The overall effect of this decision is a spirit of repose and conclusion. There are no visceral contrasts in the music, though the final Allegro is faster than the other two movements; the concerto, whenever it was actually composed, makes a splendid way to end the overall set. Bach's writing for these instruments was unconventional for the time. In the early eighteenth century the lower members of the violin family were considered orchestral instruments with supporting roles. They were given comparatively easy parts to play, while the gamba and its relatives were regarded as chamber instruments and necessarily received more difficult lines. Bach chose to reverse the level of difficulty, giving the viola and cello the tough solo parts, while the gamba players were free to cruise along in the supporting roles. In the second-movement Adagio, they are completely silent.

The form of the three-movement work is also filled with reversals. The opening movement sounds initially like a freely composed fugal arrangement, free of the stark contrasts normally associated with concerto form. Its ritornello, normally a focused bit of recurring melody, rambles along without drawing much attention to itself, while the music that is supposed to be spun out of the ritornello is concise and sharp. Compounding the irregularities further, the second movement (lovely and languid) ends in a different key from the one it starts in. The final movement assumes the character of a fugal gigue, but reveals itself to be a set of variations based on the initial ritornello, which is a much freer demonstration than the traditional spinning-out of the initial material. Overall, these surprises result in what in many ways is the most various and striking among the Brandenburg Concertos. Its beauty is equal to its invention.

Source: AllMusic (

Although originallywritten for 2 Violas, Cello, 2 Bass Viols and Continuo, I created this Arrangement of the Brandenburg Concerto No. 6 in Bb Major (BWV 1051) for 4 Violas, Cello & Bass).

"Sicut locutus" from the Magnificat in D Major (BWV 243 No. 11) for Trumpet & Strings

6 parts4 pages01:482 years ago417 views
Trumpet, Violin(2), Viola, Cello, Contrabass
Johann Sebastian Bach's Magnificat is a musical setting of the biblical canticle Magnificat. It is scored for five vocal parts (two sopranos, alto, tenor and bass), and a Baroque orchestra including trumpets and timpani. It is the first major liturgical composition on a Latin text by Bach.

In 1723, after taking up his post as Thomaskantor in Leipzig, Bach set the text of the Magnificat in a twelve movement composition in the key of E-flat major. For a performance at Christmas he inserted four hymns (laudes) related to that feast. This version, including the Christmas interpolations, was given the number BWV 243a in the catalogue of Bach's works.

For the feast of Visitation of 1733, Bach produced a new version of his Latin Magnificat, without the Christmas hymns: instrumentation of some movements was altered or expanded, and the key changed from E-flat major to D major, for performance reasons of the trumpet parts. This version of Bach's Magnificat is known as BWV 243. After publication of both versions in the 19th century, the second became the standard for performance. It is one of Bach's most popular vocal works.

Bach's Magnificat consists of eleven movements for the text of Luke 1:46–55, concluded by a twelfth doxology movement. Each verse of the canticle is assigned to one movement, except verse 48 (the third verse of the Magnificat) which begins with a soprano solo in the third movement and is concluded by the chorus in the fourth movement. The traditional division of the Magnificat, as used by composers since the late Middle Ages, was in 12 verses: it differs from Bach's 12 movements in that Luke's verse 48 is one verse in the traditional division, while the doxology is divided in two verses.

Source: Wikipedia (

I created this arrangement of the "Sicut locutus est ad patres nostros, Abraham et semini eius in saecula" (According to the promise He made to our ancestors, to Abraham and to His descendants forever) for Bb Trumpet & Strings (2 Violins, Viola, Cello & Bass).