David Schorr, Music Director

 

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Clarinet Quartet Project

 

I have played in clarinet quartets for over 30 years, now.  I paid my way through college playing clarinet quartets on the street and in parks.  My love of this ensemble is one of the reasons why I founded the Clarinet Institute.  My goal, and I don't think it's too unreasonable.... is someday to have the clarinet quartet as accepted and popular as the string quartet.

I think that a well rehearsed clarinet quartet sounds better than any string quartet.  The sound is richer and louder. The sonority of the ensemble is beautiful.  The clarinet quartet is much better suited for music at weddings and parties than a string quartet.  You can hear clarinets playing over the din of conversation at a party, whereas the sound of a string quartet quickly gets lost.  

Most string quartets can be adapted to be played by clarinets.  While there are hundreds of string quartets, there are only a handful of pieces written or arranged for a quartet of clarinets.

The problem is that clarinet players are few and far between.

Don't get me wrong, there are a lot of clarinet players out there.... Every year, our colleges and universities award thousands of music performance degrees to clarinetists.  Typically, these clarinet players go out and try to find work. Well, you can do the math.  A thousand new clarinet players and, well, how many clarinet jobs open each year?

Most clarinet players give up and get a career doing something else; stock brokers, plumbers, doctors, ditch diggers, lawyers....  The sad part is that these musicians, who at one time were practicing their art for hours every day, will simply put their instruments down and walk away.  I can't tell you the number of times I've heard of colleagues who have gotten non-music jobs and felt they simply didn't have the time to play anymore.

The Clarinet Quartet Project is for students, professionals and amateurs and everybody in between.  Clarinet quartet playing teaches students intonation and ensemble techniques necessary for orchestral playing.  For everyone else, it's just plain FUN.

Start your own quartet

It's easy to start your own quartet.  I've arranged some music to get you started.  Now all you need to to find the other clarinetists.

Step 1:  Get Other Musicians

Clarinet players are ubiquitous... that's a good word.  They are everywhere.  There's probably one living just around the corner from you.  Click here to see a list of clarinet players looking to play in quartets or other ensembles

Step 2:  Get Free Music

Below is a "starter kit" of music to get any clarinet quartet off the ground.  It's all in pdf format and it's all free.  Feel free to donate your own arrangements to the list. Click here to find out how.

 
 


Clarinet Quartets  (arranged by David Schorr)

Bach, J.S. -  Fugue in G minor, BWV 578  

Beethoven (1770 - 1827)  -  Piano Sonata, "Pathetique" 1st Mvmt. 

Boyce, William (1711 - 1779)  -  1st Movement of Symphony No. 1

Brahms, Johannes (1833 - 1897)  -  Hungarian Dance No. 5

Brahms, Johannes  -  Minuet from the Serenade No. 1    midi

Byrd, William  -  Fantasia No. 4 

Corelli, Archangelo  -  Gigue from the Sonata Op. 5    

Debussy, Claude  -  Golliwog's Cakewalk   

Guami, Gioseffo (1542-1611)  -  Canzon   

Handel, G. F.  -  Arrival of the Queen of Sheba  (adapted by David Schorr)   midi

Handel, G. F.  -  Largo from Xerxes        midi

Haydn, Franz Josef  (1732-1809) -  Minuet  from the String Quartet No. 1    

Haydn, Franz Josef  -  String Quartet Op. 74, No. 1, 4th Movement    

Henry, S. R.  -  By Heck (an eccentric fox trot)    midi

Joplin, Scott (1868 - 1917)  -  Peacherine Rag        midi

Joplin, Scott  -  The Strenuous Life    

Mozart, W.A.  -  Serenade for Winds, K. 375  5th Movement, Finale    

Mozart, W.A.  -  Sonata KV 381, Andante

Mozart, W.A.  -  Rondo  from the String Quartet, K. 80    

Mozart, W.A.  -  1st Movement  from the String Quartet, K. 155       midi

Mozart, W.A.  -  1st Movement  from the String Quartet, K. 156        midi

Ory, Edward "Kid"  -  Ory's Creole Trombone     midi

Rossini, Gioachino  -  Sonata a Quattro No. 1      

Schubert, Franz (1797-1828)  -  Moment Musical         midi

Saint Saens (1835-1921)  -  Ave Verum Corpus     

Strauss, Johann, Jr.  (1825-1899)  -  Perpetuum Mobile (a musical joke) op. 257       midi  video

Strauss, Johann, Jr.   -   Tritsch Tratsch Polka      

Taeggio, Rognoni (c. 1550-1624)  -  Brass Canzon  No. 7    

Telemann, Georg Philipp (1681-1767)  -  Quartet  TWV33 (from 'Musique de Table')     midi

Wagner, Richard  -   Bridal Chorus  from the opera Lohengrin       midi

Weber, Carl Maria  -  Hunting Song from Der Freischütz

 

Step 3:  Buy Music

The music listed above is great for getting started and doing your first concert.  Here are some arrangements of longer, more virtuosic works.  They're not free..... but they are not expensive either.  Each one costs less than $10.  Consider it a donation to the Quartet Project cause.....

Bach  -  Brandenbrug Concerto #3, 1st Movement

Kuhlau  -  Grand Quartet , Op. 103

Mozart  -  String Quartet K. 387, 1st Movement

Raff  -  String Quartet  

Of course, there's tons more music listed for clarinet on this site.  You can sit there all day and click and download, and click and download . . .   Or you can pony up ten bucks and get the entire collection all on one professionally printed disk. You'll get the entire collection and it'll be all in one place . . . sorted and everything! There's also a lot of music on the disk that isn't available for free on this site.  Find out more here.

 

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