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Partita in A Minor, BWV 1013, Op. 106, No. 4 (1723?/2019)

For Solo Ab Clarinet

Live Performance:

Joe Clark, Ab clarinet

Duration: 14'

  1. I. Allemande
  2. II. Corrente
  3. III. Sarabande
  4. IV. Bourrée angloise

Program Notes:

During my undergraduate years at the Eastman School of Music, most of my closest friends were flute players, so I ended up going to most of the flute recitals (and they were required to give a full recital every semester past the first, so there were a lot of flute recitals…). I thus became very acquainted with the flute repertoire. I explored flute sonatas by Zyman, Muczynski, and Prokofiev on a C clarinet recital, but there were still pieces I loved that I had not yet had a chance to play – including this Bach Partita and the Liebermann Sonata. When I couldn’t find enough original repertoire for my Ab clarinet recital, it seemed a natural choice to turn to flute repertoire, since they have very similar ranges (the Ab clarinet’s lowest note is sounding C4).As an unaccompanied work, I had some flexibility with pitch for the Bach Partita. Written pitch was too high (notably, the delicate written A6 at the end of the first movement). Sounding pitch fit in the range, but C# minor would have been terribly ungainly and out of tune, so I elected to raise the piece by a half-step to written D minor/sounding Bb minor. I premiered this arrangement on April 6, 2019 on my recital Alternatives VI: Abltitudes at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.