BRAY, KENNETH and PAUL GREEN (arrangers)

UN CANADIEN ERRANT

Instrumentation: Clarinet and Piano

Publisher: Gordon V. Thompson

Date: 1978 (published)

Recording: None

Musical Source: A French Canadian folk song, associated with rebellions of Upper and Lower Canada, 1837 (See McGee, Timothy J. The Music of Canada. New York: W.W. Norton & Co., 1985. p. 45)

Duration: 1:00

Range:

Level: Very Easy

 

Musical Features of the Repertoire

 

This simple folk song provides an easily satisfying musical experience for the performer. The arrangement consists of one verse of the melody with a piano introduction. The sustained legato style and even rhythm suit the repetitive and conjunct melodic line. The tempo is moderate and the mood of sadness and longing, which is partly derived from the title, allows for an expressive shaping of the phrases. The piano part creates a harmonically interesting accompaniment which supports the clarinet, in a chordal style, with some waltz-like rhythms and a counter melody.

 

Technical Challenges of the Clarinet Part

 

The technical requirements of this piece make it accessible for a beginner. The use of the chalumeau register requires full air support to maintain the rich mellow tone that is appropriate. The key of C major used for the clarinet part favours the left hand. The finger movements need to be smooth in order to match the legato articulation. The dynamic markings suggest a moderately soft range which requires more control of the volume in the chalumeau register.

 

Use of the Musical Qualities of the Clarinet

 

The lyrical quality of the clarinet and the sustained beauty of the chalumeau register are explored in this arrangement.

 

Benefits to the Student

 

This piece provides opportunities for individual expressiveness. It provides an opportunity to play with an accompanist and to become familiar with a Canadian folk song.

 

 

 

BRAY, KENNETH and PAUL GREEN (arrangers)

EN ROULANT MA BOULE

Instrumentation: Clarinet and Piano

Publisher: Gordon V. Thompson

Date: 1978 (published)

Recording: None

Musical Source: French Canadian folk song

Duration: 1:30

Range:

Level: Easy

Musical Features of the Repertoire

 

This playful dance-like song is set in a simple and effective arrangement. The melody is based on the tonic triad and features an interval of a fourth. This version begins with the refrain, followed by two settings of the song which are connected by a piano interlude. The smooth style of the melody is punctuated by a detached, chordal accompaniment helping to set the light-hearted mood. Syncopated rhythms and a counter melody also support the clarinet part. The rhythm featuresandfigures. Within the short phrases there are opportunities for ritards.

 

Technical Challenges of the Clarinet Part

 

This piece offers several challenges for a learner. The lively speed requires quick breaths between the phrases. Staccato tonguing is used as a feature of the style. There are abrupt register shifts as consecutive phrases are played in the chalumeau register and then in the clarion register. In the first verse, which is in B flat major, the piece frequently shifts to the area around the lower break.

e.g.

 

This results in complicated fingering and poses some problems for intonation. In the second verse, the tonality modulates to F major and the register shifts to the clarion. This is a clever idea because the fingering then is exactly the same as the first verse. The tone colour should be bright but remain focussed. This is a challenge due to the swift dynamic contrasts, particularly when the levels of forte and fortissimo are expected in the clarion register. The player should note that the dynamic contrasts are aided by the use of the registers. This realization should guide the player and help in controlling the tone.

 

Use of the Musical Qualities of the Clarinet

 

In this piece, the variety of dynamics and the use of the tonal features of the chalumeau and clarion registers are important musical qualities.

 

Benefits to the Student

 

The style of this piece provides opportunities for the student to shape the phrases with the ritards. It is a good introduction to a contrasting folk song idiom and follows naturally after learning the other three Canadian folk songs in this series.

 

 

 

BRAY, KENNETH and PAUL GREEN (arrangers)

THE HURON CAROL

Instrumentation: Clarinet and Piano

Publisher: Gordon V. Thompson

Date: 1978 (published)

Recording: None

Musical Source: A carol, composed in 1642, by Father Brebeuf for the Huron Indians, derived from a sixteenth century folk song, "Une jeune pucelle." (See McGee, Timothy J. The Music of Canada. New York: W.W. Norton & Co., 1985. p.13)

Duration: 1:00

Range:

Level: Very Easy

Musical Features of the Repertoire

 

This is a simple arrangement of a Canadian Christmas carol. The piano provides a brief introduction to the single verse form. The slow, chordal accompaniment enhances the smooth quality of the melodic line. The rhythm, with itstime signature, featuresvalues. The flowing, scalar melody moves and relaxes the tempo for expressive purposes.

 

Technical Challenges of the Clarinet Part

 

This piece is easily performed by a beginner. The natural D minor tonality places the melody in the chalumeau register which requires full air support. The piano dynamics enhance the musical contrasts in the piece but demand control of the volume in order to shape the mellow tone colour that is required. This is more difficult as a pianissimo level is marked at the beginning of the piece. Otherwise the finger movements are simple, favouring the left hand. The articulation is slurred with legato tonguing.

 

Use of the Musical Qualities of the Clarinet

 

The darker tone of the chalumeau register is expressed in a flowing, legato style with a gradual building of dynamic levels.

 

Benefits to the Student

 

This piece is an easily satisfying one to learn due to its range, undemanding legato style and the interest of the dynamic levels. It has seasonal interest and could be used as a solo in a concert.

 

 

 

BRAY, KENNETH and PAUL GREEN (arrangers)

SHE’S LIKE THE SWALLOW

Instrumentation: Clarinet and Piano

Publisher: Gordon V. Thompson

Date: 1978 (published)

Recording: None

Musical Source: A Newfoundland folk song

Duration: 2:00

Range:

Level: Easy

 

Musical Features of the Repertoire

 

This beautiful melody is arranged in a style that is sustained and flowing. The two verses are connected by a piano interlude that modulates from D minor to G minor. The tempo is a slowwith a molto ritard at the end. The sonorous moving line of the melody, featuring fourths and fifths, is complemented by a moving counter melody within the chordal accompaniment. The piece features even rhythms and short phrases in a minor tonality reinforcing the melancholy mood.

 

Technical Challenges of the Clarinet Part

 

The performance of this piece entails few difficulties for the player. The rich mellow tone of the chalumeau register must be supported and controlled with a full air stream through the instrument. This is especially important for the opening and closing of the first verse. In order to project over the moving accompaniment, the performer must play at a moderately soft dynamic level. The finger movements generally involve scalar motion and small intervallic leaps. In the second verse, the melody moves over the lower break.

e.g.

 

This requires smooth finger motion in order to maintain the legato style and air support. This will allow the passages to flow. The final phrase is extended with a molto ritard and a pause. Enough air must be taken in ahead of time to meet this challenge.

 

Use of the Musical Qualities of the Clarinet

 

The essence of this piece is the display of the rich mellow tone of the clarinet in a legato and

expressive style. The rising lines of the melody invite the use of the lyrical singing quality of the instrument for subtle interpretations of the phrases.

 

Benefits to the Student

 

The student is required to play over the break and to handle some breathing challenges while

projecting, as the soloist, over the accompaniment. This lovely piece is a valuable addition to a beginning clarinet student’s repertoire.

 

 

 

FREEDMAN, HARRY

VIGNETTE

Instrumentation: Clarinet and Piano

Unpublished

Manuscript: Available at CMC

Date: 1975 (composed)

Recording: None

Musical source: Original

Duration: 1:00

Range:

Level: Easy

Musical Features of the Repertoire

 

The brevity of the piece is suggested by its title. Even the phrases are shaped as little segments within themselves. The legato style is featured in both the clarinet and piano part. The harmony is atonal and the melody features thirds and fourths. The rhythm is even intime with a moderate to slow tempo. There are two repetitions of the melody followed by a final phrase. The second repetition is taken over by the piano. Otherwise, the accompaniment is a sparse, chordal support for the clarinet line. The two instruments act as partners and create a rhapsodic, dreamy mood.

 

Technical Challenges of the Clarinet Part

 

The style of this piece requires smooth finger movements which is most challenging around the lower break.

e.g.

 

This happens frequently and thus demands good air support. The most technically awkward portion is found in three consecutive phrases that rise from the chalumeau to the clarion register. The tone colour should remain clear and mellow which demands more attention to the focussing of the sound in the clarion register. The final note has an extended diminuendo which poses a problem for intonation. The last phrase adds a ritard which necessitates a full breath in order to finish the piece.

 

Use of the Musical Qualities of the Clarinet

 

The main melodic section features the lyrical quality of the clarion register. The final phrase provides opportunities for the sustained, rich beauty of the chalumeau tone to be heard.

 

Benefits to the Student

 

Though of short duration, this lyrical piece has much to offer. It could act as an introduction to an atonal idiom. It should teach the student how to be a member of the ensemble rather than the soloist. There is the need for preparation with the accompanist and a feeling of communication as the two instruments begin a beat apart. The limited dynamic markings allow the player a freedom of interpretation yet with a feeling for the overall mood.

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