Julius Fučík (pronounced "Foo-chick") was a Czech composer who lived from 1872 – 1916 and was a conductor of military bands. Today his marches are still played as patriotic music in the Czech Republic. However, his worldwide reputation rests on this one work: the Opus 68 march, the Entrance of the Gladiators (Vjezd gladiátorů), which is universally recognized, often under the title "Thunder and Blazes", as one of the most popular theme tunes for circus clowns. "Entrance of the Gladiators" or "Entry of the Gladiators" was originally titled it "Grande Marche Chromatique," reflecting the use of chromatic scales throughout the piece, but changed the title based on his personal interest in the Roman Empire. The piece is a little longer than this but the rest is not so familiar to most people. Although originally created for band, this arrangement is for the acoustic grand piano and It is best played using the "GeneralUser GS.sf2" Soundfont by S. Christian Collins Software (http://www.schristiancollins.com/generaluser.php).
The trill (or shake, as it was known from the 16th until the 19th century) is a musical ornament consisting of a rapid alternation between two adjacent notes, usually a semitone or tone apart, which can be identified with the context of the trill. It is sometimes referred to by the German triller, the Italian trillo, the French trille or the Spanish trino. A cadential trill is a trill associated with a cadence. In the baroque period, a number of signs indicating specific patterns with which a trill should be begun or ended were used. In the Klavierbüchlein für Wilhelm Friedemann Bach, Johann Sebastian Bach lists a number of these signs together with the correct way to interpret them. Unless one of these specific signs is indicated, the details of how to play the trill are up to the performer. In general, however, trills in this period are executed beginning on the auxiliary note, before the written note, often producing the effect of a harmonic suspension which resolves to the principal note. But, if the note preceding the ornamented note is itself one scale degree above the principal note, then the dissonant note has already been stated, and the trill typically starts on the principal note. Several trill symbols and techniques common in the Baroque and early Classical period have fallen entirely out of use, including for instance the brief Pralltriller, represented by a very brief wavy line, referred to by Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach in his Essay on the True Art of Playing Keyboard Instruments (Versuch) (1753–1762). Beyond the baroque period, specific signs for ornamentation are very rare. Continuing through the time of Mozart, the default expectations for the interpretation of trills continued to be similar to those of the baroque. In music after the time of Mozart, the trill usually begins on the principal note. All of these are only rules of thumb, and, together with the overall rate of the trill and whether that rate is constant or variable, can only be determined by considering the context in which the trill appears, and is usually to a large degree a matter of opinion with no single "right" way of executing the ornament.
"This Is My Song" was penned in 1934 by Lloyd Stone to the tune of Jean Sibelius' Finlandia. The final verse was added in 1939 by Georgia Harkness and remains in the United Methodist Hymnal as Hymn # 437. It is sometimes called "A Song of Peace" which is taken from the second line of the song. This arrangement was created for the Sierra Vista United Methodist Church (SVUMC) organ.
"Come, Sweet Death, Come Blessed Rest" (Komm, süßer Tod, komm selge Ruh) was originally written by Johann Sebastian Bach for solo voice and basso continuo from the 69 Sacred Songs and Arias that he contributed to Georg Christian Schemelli's Musicalisches Gesangbuch (Schemelli Gesangbuch No. 868 -- BWV 478) edited by Georg Christian Schemelli in 1736. Source: Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Komm,_s%C3%BC%C3%9Fer_Tod,_komm_selge_Ruh). For most of these sacred songs, Bach had only to devise bass lines and figured bass indications -- the melodies selected were old and famous Lutheran tunes. Komm, süßer Tod, however, is an exception. The song has five verses, written around 1724 by some unknown poet, each of which begins which the text "Komm, süßer (süsser) Tod, komm selige Ruh" (Come, sweet death; come, blessed rest), and each of which is set to the same eight short phrases of triple-meter music. Its melody is known in no other source than the Schmelli Gesang-Buch, and it is generally believed that Bach wrote the piece from scratch. (There are two or three other entries in the Gesang-Buch that seem also to have been newly composed) . Those familiar with ordinary German chorales will find themselves on familiar ground with Komm, süsser Tod, but its solo vocal line seems especially to exemplify Bach's supremely confident devotional side. Bach, by means of melody and harmony, expresses the desire for death and heaven.A beautiful orchestral version of this piece was made by Leopold Stokowski in 1946 (see VideoScore); it opens with all the strings muted except for a solo cello that "sings" the melody. In my own inexperienced interpretation, the lyrics read more like a suicide note or death wish than other pieces from this time. It really seems to express the misery with things in the world and longing to end the suffering. Perhaps it was the loss of his beloved wife Maria Barbara Bach or the loss of many of his children. This piece touches me; sad to think of the suffering of a great master like this. One listener offered, "This is not a death wish in the way we normally think of it but the deep longing of a devout man of God desiring to be with his Savior. The music pulls forward and back just as the Apostle Paul was torn between the desire to be useful here on earth yet more to be with his Lord. In this piece the tension ebbs and flows until the final resolution gives full release." I created this arrangement for Pipe Organ and created English lyrics for Choir (SATB).
The "Sicilienne" is among Gabriel Fauré's most familiar pieces; it began life as an orchestral sketch in March 1893, intended as incidental music for a revival of Molière's Le Bourgeois gentilhomme at Paul Porel's Eden-Théâtre. Left incomplete as that establishment went bankrupt, Fauré rounded it off and arranged it for cello and piano only in 1898, even as he passed the score along to his pupil Charles Koechlin to orchestrate as an item in the incidental music for a London production of Maeterlinck's Pelléas et Mélisande, where it introduces the scene at the beginning of Act Two, in which Mélisande's wedding ring slips from her finger and disappears into a well as she plays gently with Pelléas -- a use for which it seems predestined. In this form it was first heard with the play's opening at the Prince of Wales' Theatre on June 21, 1898, with Fauré conducting. Given its effectiveness, it was inevitable that Fauré should have included it among the four numbers of his Pelléas et Mélisande Suite, heard for the first time on December 1, 1912, conducted by André Messager. The common practice of publishers in issuing multiple arrangements of works likely to catch on -- for piano, or piano and solo instrument -- ensured that the Sicilienne's lilting wistfulness would become known around the world in the version for cello and piano, published in London by Metzler and Hamelle in Paris in 1898. Like a zephyr, the Sicilienne, with its hypnotically fluid melody carried, as it were, on waves of soothing arpeggiation, evokes a mood of mildly delirious nostalgia. If all music, as Vladimir Jankélévitch has remarked, is nostalgic in a certain manner, the Sicilienne is nostalgic music par excellence, for it embodies a truly existential, or perhaps mysterious, yearning for some undefined, imagined place, a Sicily in the luxuriant realm of dreams. Although originally written for Cello and Piano, I transcribed his work for Flute and Piano.
Herz und Mund und Tat und Leben (Heart and mouth and deed and life), BWV 147, is a church cantata by Johann Sebastian Bach. It was written originally in Weimar in 1716 (BWV 147a) for Advent and expanded in 1723 for the feast of the Visitation in Leipzig, where it was first performed on 2 July 1723. Bach composed the cantata in his first year as Thomaskantor in Leipzig for the Marian feast "Mariae Heimsuchung" (Visitation). The prescribed readings for the feast day were Isaiah 11:1–5, the prophecy of the Messiah, and from the Gospel of Luke, Luke 1:39–56, Mary's visit to Elizabeth, including her song of praise, the "Magnificat". He used as a base a cantata in six movements composed in Weimar for the fourth Sunday in Advent. As Leipzig observed tempus clausum (time of silence) from Advent II to Advent IV, Bach could not perform the cantata for that occasion and rewrote it for the feast of the Visitation. The original words were suitable for a feast celebrating Mary in general; more specific recitatives were added, the order of the arias changed, and the closing chorale was replaced and repeated on a different verse to expand the cantata to two parts. The words are verses 6 and 16 of the hymn "Jesu, meiner Seelen Wonne" (1661) by Martin Jahn (de). The opening chorus renders the complete words in three section, the third one a reprise of the first one and even the middle section not different in character. An instrumental ritornello is heard in the beginning and in the end as well as, slightly changed, in all three sections with the choir woven into it. In great contrast all three sections conclude with a part accompanied only by basso continuo. Sections one and three begin with a fugue with colla parte instruments. The fugue subject stresses the word Leben (life) by a melisma extended over three measures. The soprano starts the theme, the alto enters just one measure later, tenor after two more measures, bass one measure later, the fast succession resulting in a lively music as a good image of life. In section three the pattern of entrances is the same, but building from the lowest voice to the highest. The three recitatives are scored differently, the first accompanied by chords of the strings, the second by continuo, the third as an accompagnato of two oboes da caccia which add a continuous expressive motive, interrupted only when the child's leaping in the womb (in German: Hüpfen) is mentioned which they illustrate. The three arias of the original cantata are scored for voice and solo instruments (3., 5.) or only continuo, whereas the last aria, speaking of the miracles of Jesus, is accompanied by the full orchestra. The chorale movements 6 and 10, ending the two parts of the cantata, are the same music based on a melody by Johann Schop, "Werde munter, mein Gemüthe", a melody which Bach also used in his St Matthew Passion on the words "Bin ich gleich von dir gewichen" (movement 40). The simple four-part choral part is embedded in a setting of the full orchestra dominated by a motive in pastoral triplets derived from the first line of the chorale melody. Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring is the most common English title of this movement of the cantata and is one of Bach's most enduring works. Although the cantata was scored for four soloists and a four-part choir, a festive trumpet, two oboes (oboe d'amore, oboe da caccia), two violins, viola and basso continuo including bassoon, I created this arrangement for Piano, Organ and Choir (SATB).
The "Orfeo ed Euridice" (Orpheus and Eurydice) is an opera composed by Christoph Willibald Gluck based on the myth of Orpheus and set to a libretto by Ranieri de' Calzabigi. Gluck's "Orfeo and Euredice", one of the turning points in the history of opera, received its premiere in Vienna on 5th October 1762. "Beautiful simplicity" was the phrase used by Gluck and his librettist Ranieri de Calzabigi for what they had set out to achieve, and the work without doubt offered the clearest challenge yet seen or heard to the moribund conventions of Italian "opera seria". Musically it proved to be a work of unparalleled directness, concise in its effects, plain in its speech, overwhelming in its impact. The subject of the opera is the Orpheus of Greek mythology, the famous poet and singer who could charm wild animals with his music. When his wife Euradice died he followed her to Hades and won her back by his art with the condition that he should not look at her until he reached the world again. (He did, with predictably disastrous consequences!) The Dance of the Blessed Spirits occurs in Act 2 of the opera, and consists of a 'roundelay' for strings with two flutes floating above the melody, a tune which nobody who has once heard it is likely to forget. The calm contemplative beauty of the Elysian Fields is perfectly captured by this music which is both tranquil yet at the same time seems to be somehow threaded with melancholy. Although originally written for opera, this arrangement highlights the haunting elegance of the flute.
Most music lovers have encountered George Frederick Handel through holiday-time renditions of the Messiah's "Hallelujah" chorus. And many of them know and love that oratorio on Christ's life, death, and resurrection, as well as a few other greatest hits like the orchestral Water Music and Royal Fireworks Music, and perhaps Judas Maccabeus or one of the other English oratorios. Yet his operas, for which he was widely known in his own time, are the province mainly of specialists in Baroque music, and the events of his life, even though they reflected some of the most important musical issues of the day, have never become as familiar as the careers of Bach or Mozart. Perhaps the single word that best describes his life and music is "cosmopolitan": he was a German composer, trained in Italy, who spent most of his life in England. The Sonata in G minor (HWV 360) was composed by George Frideric Handel for recorder and harpsichord (the autograph manuscript, a fair copy made most likely in 1712, gives this instrumentation in Italian: "flauto e cembalo"). The work is also referred to as Opus 1 No. 2, and was first published in 1732 by Walsh. Other catalogues of Handel's music have referred to the work as HG xxvii,9; and HHA iv/3,16. Both the Walsh edition and the Chrysander edition indicate that the work is for recorder ("flauto"), and published it as Sonata II. I created this arrangement for Viola & Piano.
"Ave Maria" is a popular and much recorded aria composed by Vladimir Vavilov around 1970. It is a musical hoax generally misattributed to Baroque composer Giulio Caccini. Vavilov himself published and recorded it on the Melodiya label with the ascription to "Anonymous" in 1970. It is believed that the work received its ascription to Giulio Caccini after Vavilov's death, by an organist Mark Shakhin (one of its performers on the mentioned "Melodiya" longplay), who gave the "newly discovered scores" to other musicians; then in an arrangement made by the organist Oleg Yanchenko for the recording by Irina Arkhipova in 1987, then the piece came to be famous worldwide.
"Carol of the Bells" is a choral miniature work composed by the Ukrainian Mykola Leontovych. Leontovych's composition, is characterised by the use of a four note motif as an ostinato figure throughout the work. This ostinato figure is an ancient pagan Ukrainian New Year's (originally celebrated in April) magical chant known in Ukrainian as "Shchedryk" [the Generous One]. I developed this arrangement of the "Carol of the Bells" to accentuates it's original composition using modern 5-Octave English Handbells, Handchimes and full choir (SATB).
The Nocturnes, Op. 9 are a set of three nocturnes written by Frédéric Chopin between 1830 and 1832 and dedicated to Madame Camille Pleyel. The work was published in 1833. Chopin composed this popular Nocturne in E-flat major, Op. 9, No. 2 when he was about twenty and it is in rounded binary form (A, A, B, A, B, A) with coda, C. The A and B sections become increasingly ornamented with each recurrence. The penultimate bar utilizes considerable rhythmic freedom, indicated by the instruction, senza tempo (without tempo). Nocturne in E-flat major opens with a legato melody, mostly played piano, containing graceful upward leaps which becomes increasingly wide as the line unfolds. This melody is heard again three times during the piece. With each repetition, it is varied by ever more elaborate decorative tones and trills. The nocturne also includes a subordinate melody, which is played with rubato. A sonorous foundation for the melodic line is provided by the widely spaced notes in the accompaniment, connected by the damper pedal. The waltz like accompaniment gently emphasizes the 12/8 meter, 12 beats to the measure subdivided into four groups of 3 beats each. The nocturne is reflective in mood until it suddenly becomes passionate near the end. The new concluding melody begins softly but then ascends to a high register and is played forcefully in octaves, eventually reaching the loudest part of the piece, marked fortissimo. After a trill-like passage, the excitement subsides; the nocturne ends calmly. Although originally composed for solo piano, I created this arrangement for Solo Viola & Acoustic Piano.
Piccolo, Strings(5), Harpsichord
Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741) started playing the violin in his early years. He started studying to become a priest when he was 15 and was ordained in 1703 at the age of 25. In September 1703 Vivaldi became a violin teacher at an orphanage where he started writing concertos and sacred vocal music for the oprhans. Later on he became responsible for all the musical activity of the institution. Around 1717 Vivaldi was offered a new position as Maestro di Cappella (in charge of music in a chapel) of the governor of Mantua. During this period Vivaldi wrote his famous four violin concertos the Four seasons. Antonio Vivaldi's concertos cut a revolutionary swath through the more fustian rituals of high Baroque music in much the way that minimalism gutted academic serialism 250 years later. They standardized the fast-slow-fast movement scheme that has survived as the classic concerto pattern, and developed the ritornello form (in which a refrain for the ensemble alternates with free episodes for the soloist), using it as a vehicle for thematic integration and elaboration. Vivaldi's 500-plus concertos were athletic entertainments that swept continental Europe, influencing not only younger composers, but causing a wave of stylistic conversion in older ones. Vivaldi wrote this "Concerto per Flautino" sometime between 1728 and 1729 and although there is not a reliable evidence that the frontispiece information "Concerto per Flautino" means the sopranino recorder (in 'F') as a soloist. The Italian term flautino means simply a "small flute". There is however, a written instruction "Gl'istromti trasportati alla 4a" ("The instruments transposed a fourth"), witch corroborate which the conjecture that this concert was written for a soprano recorder (in 'C'), the standard transposition for recorder in 18th century, where the recorder player needs to read the recorder part like playing with an alto recorder in 'F'. This arrangement was created for solo Piccolo and String Ensemble (Violins, Viola, Cello & String Bass).
Johann Pachelbel was a German Baroque composer, organist and teacher, who brought the south German organ tradition to its peak. He composed a large body of sacred and secular music, and his contributions to the development of the chorale prelude and fugue have earned him a place among the most important composers of the middle Baroque era. Pachelbel is best known for the Canon in D Major, the only canon he wrote – although a true canon at the unison in three parts, it is often regarded more as a passacaglia, and it is in this mode that I created this somewhat unique arrangement for the pedal harp. The "Canon" is probably one of the most recognizable piece of classical music and is best played using the "GeneralUser GS.sf2" Soundfont by S. Christian Collins Software (http://www.schristiancollins.com/generaluser.php).
The "Pavane" in F# minor, Op. 50, is a composition by the French composer Gabriel Fauré, written in 1887. It was originally a piano piece, but is better known in Fauré's version for orchestra and optional chorus. Obtaining its rhythm from the slow processional Spanish court dance of the same name, the Pavane ebbs and flows from a series of harmonic and melodic climaxes, conjuring a cool, somewhat haunting, Belle Époque elegance. The original version of the Pavane was written for piano in the late 1880s. The composer described it as "elegant, but not otherwise important." Fauré intended it to be played more briskly than it has generally come to be performed in its more familiar orchestral guise. Since its premiere in 1888, Gabriel Fauré ’s Pavane Op. 50 has been an enormously popular piece of classical music. Its beautiful main melody, evocative harmonies and effective orchestration create a very stirring and infectious work, which is why it has become such a favourite with audiences and is so frequently heard time and time again. It was used as the theme to the 1998 World Cup, and has also been the basis for various popular music songs, such as Charlotte Church’s "Dream a Dream". Although originally written for Piano and later Orchestra, I arranged his work for Flute and Piano.
In the last year of his life, at the age of 85, Camille Saint-Saëns was still active as a composer and conductor, traveling between Algiers and Paris. Besides a final piano album leaf, his last completed works were three sonatas, one each for oboe, clarinet, and bassoon. He sensed that he did not have much time left; he wrote to a friend, "I am using my last energies to add to the repertoire for these otherwise neglected instruments." He intended to write sonatas for another three wind instruments, but was never able to. Saint-Saëns began the pieces early in the year while in Algeria and completed them in April in Paris. He was not alone in wanting to write for these instruments. English composers, such as Holst and Bax, and other French composers, such as Honegger and Milhaud, were also starting to expand the literature for woodwind instruments around the same time. In fact, Saint-Saëns' sonatas have pastoral and humorous moments that are similar to those others' works, relying on simpler melodies and textures than are found even his earlier chamber works, yet retaining Classical forms for their structure. Although all three sonatas were published before Saint-Saëns' death, they were not premiered until later. This, the Sonata for clarinet and piano in E flat major, Op. 167, is cherished by many performers. Saint-Saëns' Clarinet Sonata has four movements, and thus might be said to reach back past the Romantic sonata tradition, with its normal three-movement vessel, to the Classical tradition that Saint-Saëns loved so dearly. The opening melodic strains of the Allegretto first movement float upon a sea of utterly calm eighth note waves in the piano (bobbing up and down in 12/8 meter); the composer is in no hurry to reveal the secrets of the movement, but there is still passion aplenty as we go along, even if the movement as a whole is not especially long. A scherzo movement comes next, taking up A flat major, and then Saint-Saëns provides a Lento in the dark key of E flat minor; its steady half notes and, in time, quarter notes, are so persistent in their slow plodding that we almost feel anguish at their inability to break free from the dirge they create. Much happier, though, is the Molto Allegro fourth movement that follows it without pause. Here the clarinetist is given a chance to whirl and spin to some very florid virtuoso stuff, but at the end it is the quiet tone, and even in fact the very music, of the first movement that the composer uses to close.
This is an excerpt of the theme taken from the famous film by Mel Brooks "Young Frankenstein" (Transylvanian Lullaby by John Morris) transcribed for Solo Viola. Note: This work is not my own and is likely copyrighted. John Leonard Morris (born October 18, 1926) is a retired American film and television composer, best known for his work with filmmaker Mel Brooks.
Jenne Van Antwerpen (http://musescore.com/user/53615) and I created this piece as a brisk duet for two woodwinds (flute & oboe). It is set in a canonistic style and meant to invoke images of a mountain echo because, in the mountains, there's always an echo. Before there was phone or internet or texting, people used yodeling or whistling to send messages from one top of the mountain to another and of course; with an echo! It is still used today as fail-safe warning for avalanches. This piece was created for Flute & Oboe Duet and is intended to be performed fast!
"Here I Am, Lord" is a hymn composed by Dan Schutte in 1981 after Vatican Council II. Its words are based on Isaiah 6:8 and 1 Samuel 3. This Catholic hymn is often sung in the United Methodist worship services as well, particularly services that are contemporary rather than traditional in structure and format.
This popular traditional jig is named after Sligo-born, Irish-American fiddler James Morrison, who recorded it in the 1930s. Tom Carmody, who played accordion in Morrison's band, tells this story of its origin: Jim was up at my house the night before we were to go to the studio, and I played him this jig. Jim asked me where I had got it from and I told him it was my father's jig called “The Stick Across the Hob”. Jim asked me to play it again and he wrote it down as I played, then he got the fiddle and played it off. “I will put that on record tomorrow”, he said, and we'll call it “Maurice Carmody's Favourite”. Although originally written for Folk Instruments, I created this short arrangement for Solo Acoustic Piano and It is best played using the "GeneralUser GS.sf2" Soundfont by S. Christian Collins Software (http://www.schristiancollins.com/generaluser.php).