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Adagietto from "Symphony No. 5", Op. 59, No. 11 (1901-2/2015)

For Clarinet Choir and Harp

Live Performance:

Eastman Clarinet Choir, Oliver Hagen, conductor

Duration: 9'

Instrumentation:

  • Bb Clarinets 1-4
  • Alto Clarinet
  • Bass Clarinets 1-2
  • Contrabass Clarinet
  • Harp

Program Notes:

At the beginning of the spring semester of 2015, the Eastman Clarinet Choir was searching for repertoire. The sophomore theory class had just recently been studying the Adagietto from Mahler 5, and Chris Rueda jokingly suggested that I transcribe it for clarinet choir at dinner one night. As is my wont, I accidentally took him seriously and cranked out this transcription in about a week.

Despite its joking beginnings, I feel that the transfer from homogenous string timbres to homogenous clarinet timbres maintains the delicate, intimate quality of the piece. This transcription was premiered by the Eastman Clarinet Choir on May 3, 2015.

According to Alma Mahler, Gustav left this small poem along with the movement:

How much I love you, you my sun,

I cannot tell you that with words.

I can only lament to you my longing and love.