Loeffler―4 Poems, Op. 5―with Clarinet in lieu of Viola

Noteworthy Sheet Music has just published a Bb Clarinet part for Charles Martin Loeffler's Quatre Poèmes pour Voix, Alto et Piano
SOMERVILLE, Mass. - Feb. 26, 2021 - PRLog -- Noteworthy Sheet Music, LLC (NSM) is an online sheet music publisher with a catalog of ~180 editions. NSM specializes in sheet music for flute and alto flute. They offer original works by distinguished contemporary composers, re-notated versions or facsimiles of rare historical scores, and unique arrangements of pieces from the classical repertoire. Selected NSM publications are offered as professionally-printed hard copy editions, and most are available as convenient pdf downloads from the NSM website.

Charles Martin Loeffler was a German-born American violinist and composer who became a prominent figure among Boston's music, cultural, and intellectual elite.  He emigrated to the United States at age 20; a year later he joined the Boston Symphony Orchestra and served as assistant concertmaster for over twenty years.

His Quatre Poèmes pour Voix, Alto et Piano, Op. 5 was premiered by the Boston Symphony Orchestra with Loeffler himself on viola.  In these four songs, Loeffler set to music one poem by Charles Baudelaire and three poems by Paul Verlaine.  Each of the songs has a unique character, but Loeffler's love of color variations and dense harmonies can be heard throughout.  The first edition of this work was published by Schirmer in 1904.

At the request of a clarinetist friend, NSM previously created a transcription of the viola part for Brahms' Two Songs for Alto, Viola, and Piano, Op. 91 for clarinet.  That transcription became one of their most popular editions, and because of that interest they wanted to offer customers an opportunity to play a voice, clarinet, and piano version of the poems famously set to music by Loeffler.  NSM has taken care to adapt the viola part to the clarinet as conservatively as possible, and it seems to work well.  Obviously, there are places where modifications were required—for example where the viola has double stops, goes out of clarinet range, or uses harmonics or pizzicato.  Clarinetists who plan to perform the piece are encouraged to listen to recordings of these songs with viola, and to consult the original viola part and score, which are available in the public domain as free PDF downloads.  The transcribed clarinet part may be downloaded from the NSM website at https://noteworthysheetmusic.com/sheet-music/ensemble-tags/winds/803-loeffler-4-poemes-clarinet-voice-clarinet-and-piano

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