Can-Can alla Rossini! (Clarinet Quartet)

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A few weeks ago I received an email from Susan Gregory, Clarinet / Ensemble teacher at St Helen’s School, Northwood, Middlesex [pictured], asking whether her Clarinet Choir could perform The Lone Ar-ranger! in the school’s forthcoming Founder’s Day concert.

Sue started her group two years ago, where presently the Bb clarinets double on each part, together with a single bass clarinet. It is hoped that school funds will eventually allow the purchase of an Alto and Eb clarinet but, in their absence, Sue tends to buy ’quartet’ versions and arrangements, which include a bass part.

Naturally I immediately gave my blessing to the performance. Although the school is not known to me personally, it isn’t far from where I stayed with relations at Rayner’s Lane, when I was a student at the Royal College of Music, years ago now!

Sue wrote: I am fortunate to coach a talented and enthusiastic group of young clarinettists, and my upper-sixth pupil herself composed a super piece for our Clarinet Choir which we performed last year. The girls were delighted to discover the various themes within your score and are very much looking forward to performing your work at our annual Founder’s Day concert. I’ve now purchased the ’Tune List’ so will enlighten them next week - such a helpful resource, thank you!

Only a short while before receiving Sue’s email, I’d finished making a similar version of another potpourri type of arrangement, Can-Can alla Rossini!.

So that the girls might have something to follow on with next year, I have dedicated the Clarinet Quartet version of this new piece to Sue and her players, and hope it will provide an equal, but nevertheless rewarding and enjoyable challenge for them in the future!

N.B. For ensembles where no bass clarinet is available, I have provided a version for Bb clarinet, as well as one for Alto Clarinet. Despite a few necessary upward octave transpositions, the lack of the deeper instrument shouldn’t spoil things too much, although the Bass Clarinet, or even Alto Clarinet is to be preferred.

N.B. In the present economic climate, a good number of smaller ensembles understandably buy just the set of parts as, in reality, these alone are all that is needed in performance. Equally, a similar number buy both the parts and the full score. To compensate for this, I intend to reduce the cost of the full score by $4, and increase the price of the lead part by $3, a differential that wasn’t available to sellers at the former

Score ID
Year of composition
Difficult (Grades 7+)
3 minutes
Quartet of Clarinets in Bb
Classical music

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