Prelude and Fugue, BWV 532, by J. S. Bach
Arranged for Woodwind Quartet by John W. Pratt
Score and Parts, PDF $15.97“Among the big Bach organ fugues, BWV 532 is unusually well suited to woodwind quartet. Written during Bach's early, carefree Weimar period (only four children to support), it is high-spirited and can even be read as witty. It benefits from having a separate sonority for each voice, especially when the countersubject interjects a perky comment in the subject's empty space. It has rapid passage work throughout, almost suggesting Mendelssohn—but his chamber music, not his organ music! It makes almost no significant use of the sheer power of the mighty “king of instruments”; the way the voices are brought in and deployed in itself provides the excitement and variations in volume. Woodwinds have ample piano and forte capabilities for the purpose. The Prelude is also readily adapted to woodwind quartet, consisting mainly of a straightforward four-part Alla breve.The Prelude’s brief introductory and concluding material includes pedal scales and other flourishes that are no less effective for being easy to play on winds. // The arrangement here preserves Bach's four voices almost exactly.” — from J. W. Pratt’s foreword to the edition
Click to listen to computer-generated audio samples from the score; audio clips from the Prelude (m4-22) and the Fugue (m14-27), are separated by a brief pause.
Score, 16 pages; Flute part, 5 pages; Oboe part, 6 pages; Bb Clarinet part, 6 pages; Bassoon part, 5 pages;Total, 46 pages.Preview
Toccata, Adagio, and Fugue in C major, BWV 564, by J. S. Bach
Arranged for Woodwind Quartet by John W. Pratt
Score and Parts for Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, & Bassoon, PDF $21.25
excerpted from JWP’s © foreword to the edition:
Among J. S. Bach's big organ works, the Toccata, Adagio, and Fugue, BWV 564 is atypical in ways that make it unusually well suited to transcription for woodwind quartet. Unlike most, it has a middle movement, an Adagio with an elaborate and gorgeous melody which lies comfortably for flute and can benefit greatly from the shaded, nuanced dynamics and articulations that a solo flutist can provide. The other winds bring out Bach's beautiful voice-leading in the Adagio's two inner parts and its marching but not martial bass. The four-part Fugue is unusual, too—light and lighthearted, happily adaptable to woodwinds, with no call for great power and, rather than a climactic ending, a fading coda that defies convincing treatment on the organ. The exuberant Toccata starts with an extended manual solo passage... mostly in 32nd notes, which... I felt it would be more effective as a game of frequent handoffs between instruments than as a series of longer individual études. The pedal solo, mostly 16ths, calls for the extra weight of doubling.
Click to listen to a computer-generated audio sample from the end of the Toccata into the beginning of the Adagio.
Score, 17 pages; Flute part, 6 pages; Oboe part, 5 pages; Bb Clarinet part, 5 pages; Bassoon part, 4 pages; Total, 46 pages.Preview
Old Folks at Home and Oh! Susanna, by Stephen Foster
Arranged with Flute and Cello ad lib by John W. Pratt
Flute Parts, Cello Parts, Voice Parts, and Piano Scores ― PDF $7.99
The following excerpts are taken from John W. Pratt's foreword to the edition:
When a Golden Oldie comes to mind, Doo-dah! Doo-dah!
Comic, sad, or any kind, Oh! Doo-dah-day!
Jeanie, Swanee, Kentucky, Joe, Doo-dah! Doo-dah!
Beautiful, dreamy, fast, or slow, Oh! Doo-dah-day!
I'll bet I know who wrote it, he wrote them night and day,
Stephen Foster wrote it, he'll never go away.
Stephen Foster was born in Lawrenceville, Pa., on July 4, 1826...He wrote over 200 songs, including 135 parlor songs, 28 minstrel songs, and 21 hymns and Sunday school songs. A remarkable number are memorable, as the ditty above will attest to anyone with anything like my background. One wonders why. The harmonies and rhythms are basic, as are the forms and rhyme schemes (see above), the music is repetitious, and the vocal range rarely goes outside an octave (a great benefit for community singing). Yet the fit is so natural and the pacing so well judged that the songs are ideally effective and diabolically catchy. Foster is perhaps, though on a different plane, the Mozart of his field...
For a pianist playing several stanzas at a sing-along, Foster's songs do become a little dull. But their very simplicity, repetitiousness, and familiarity abet variation as, again on a different plane, chorales serve Bach chorale preludes. Like chorale preludes, the piano parts here always incorporate the melody, so they can be played solo or to accompany amateur singers. It struck me that they could be enhanced by optional flute parts. After writing them, I discovered that, according to his brother Morrison, Foster himself "delighted in playing accompaniments on the flute...As the song went on he would improvise...the most beautiful variations upon its musical theme." If Foster's improvisations were like the one his brother published, however, they just varied the melody itself in the manner of the period. My game is more ambitious, as you will easily see. I added optional cello parts, mostly for color, as in the Haydn trios but superficially more interesting for the cellist. (Again we are on a different plane, of course.)
"Oh! Susanna," one of the best-known American songs by anybody, is Foster's "Erlkönig." (Speak of different planes!) With its nonsensical lyrics and polka beat, it is clearly comical, and I treated it accordingly. It was written in Cincinnati, possibly for a social club, first performed at an ice cream saloon in Pittsburgh in 1847, and published in 1848. When no American song had sold over 5,000 copies, it sold over 100,000. It earned Foster only $100, but its popularity led to a publisher's offer, convincing him to become a professional songwriter, America's first.
"Old Folks at Home" established Foster as a truly American composer. It was written in 1851 for a blackface troupe whose leader paid Foster about $15 to be credited for it. When almost finished, Foster asked his brother for "a good name of two syllables for a Southern river." He rejected Yazoo and Pedee, but was delighted with Swanee, a shortening of Suwanee, a small river in Florida which his brother found in an atlas. Though about a slave's nostalgia for home, I find its theme universal and melancholy and I resisted the temptation to jazz it up. Please try, at least, a slowish tempo.
― John W. Pratt, May 27, 2013 ©
Flute parts, 2 pages; Cello parts, 2 pages; Voice parts, 2 pages; Scores, 7 pages; Total, 18 pages.Preview
Trio, Hob. XV:18, by Franz Joseph Haydn
transposed to B-flat major and arranged for Woodwind Quartet by John W. Pratt
Score and Parts for Flute, Oboe, B-flat Clarinet, and Bassoon; PDF $20.97
As noted in the arranger’s forward to the edition, the later piano trios of Franz Joseph Haydn (1732-1809) are superb music, but because they were written for excellent pianists and weak string players, they are dominated by the piano part. This imbalance among the parts actually makes the trios highly amenable to and effective in arrangement for woodwind quartet. Written after Haydn’s first visit to London, the Piano Trio in A major, Hob. XV:18, was first published in 1794. The first of its three movements, a flowing Allegro moderato, is unified by ingenious use of the three-note motif opening its cantabile main theme. The lovely middle Andante, in ABA form and 6/8 meter, features some luxurious ornamentation and proceeds attacca to the spirited and humorous Allegro finale. The resources of a woodwind quartet are well suited to the musical ideas of this trio, and the arrangement adapts Haydn’s piano, violin, and cello lines wonderfully to the range and sonority of the instruments used: flute, oboe, B-flat clarinet, and bassoon. This adaptation is facilitated by transposition from Haydn’s original key of A major to B-flat major. We provide parts plus a score in concert pitch.
Click to listen to computer-generated audio samples from the score; audio clips from movements I (m44.4 - m64.3), II (m0 - m4.5 & m49.6 - m54.5), and III (m36.2.2 - m48) are separated by brief pauses.
Score in concert pitch, 21 pages; Flute part, 8 pages; Oboe part, 6 pages; B♭-Clarinet part, 5 pages; Bassoon part, 5 pages; Total, 52 pages.Preview
Trio, Hob. XV:25 ‘Gypsy’, by Franz Joseph Haydn
arranged for Woodwind Quartet by John W. Pratt
Score and Parts for Flute, Oboe, B♭-Clarinet, and Bassoon; plus, an alternative A-Clarinet part; PDF $16.97
Short summary adapted by NSM from John W. Pratt’s foreword to the edition:The trios Hob. XV: 24-26 were, in Robbins Landon’s account (Haydn, Indiana, 1976), probably the last works Haydn delivered to his publishers before he left England in 1795. They were written for strong amateur pianists and weak string players, and although the string parts are essential for their effects on sonority, they are not terribly interesting. Such a scenario lends itself beautifully to arrangement of these piano trios for wind quartet.
Haydn labeled the finale of Hob. XV: 25 "in the Gypsies' style", and the trio became an enormous favorite. In the key of G, it opens with a particularly lovely slow movement having alternating minor and major variations. The third variation is in the relative minor (e), anticipating the key, E major, of the even slower, but subtle and melodically rich, second movement. This retardation heightens the effect of the famous finale.
We have provided alternative parts for clarinet in B-flat and in clarinet in A. Some players may wish to use the A-clarinet only in the second movement, for the sake of the friendlier key signature and perhaps also for sound, depending on the instrument.
Click to listen to computer-generated audio samples from the score; audio clips from movements I (m42-48, m72-78), II (m57-63), and III (168-190) are separated by brief pauses.
Score in concert pitch, 17 pages; Flute part, 6 pages; Oboe part, 4 pages; B♭-Clarinet part, 6 pages; Bassoon part, 4 pages; alternative part for A-Clarinet, 6 pages; Total, 56 pages.Preview
Russian Tableaux, by Lydia Kakabadse
Contemporary Composition for Violin, Viola, Cello and Double Bass
Score and Parts, PDF $10.99
Please see the "Our Composers" section of the website to learn more about highly-acclaimed British composer Lydia Kakabadse, whom we were delighted to welcome as a new contributor to NSM's catalog in September 2017, with publication of her piece Russian Tableaux. Russian Tableaux is featured on The Phantom Listeners CD (Naxos 8.572524); visit the composer's website to listen to audio samples.
Here are the composer's program notes for this beautiful work, which was written in memory of her father:
Russian Tableaux, which was completed in September 2009 for string quartet (violin, viola, cello, double bass), displays such distinctive Russian traits as rich melody and texture, an abundance of colour, low register strings and strong bass.
1st movement – Mother Volga
The river Volga, which has held much importance in Russian life, is known as the mother of Russian civilization and came to be called "Mother Volga". Accompanied by the double bass, the piece opens with the cello, followed in turn by the viola and then the violin, each representing a tributary that flows into the river. The river gathers momentum as the cello announces the main theme, which is taken up by the upper strings against pizzicato double bass. The viola attempts to steer a steady course against the meandering strings and, following a variation of the main theme, brings the piece to an end with arpeggio like runs.
2nd movement – 1917
Depicting the aftermath of the Russian Revolution of 1917 and the ensuing misery and sense of desolation, this movement opens with the cello playing the main theme grave con dolore, accompanied by the double bass. This theme is then taken up by the violin and later by the viola in their lower register. Despite an increase in tempo, where the violin plays a variation of the theme, the feeling of despair cannot be shaken off. This is characterized by the melancholy tone reflected in the continual use of the minor key, the repetition of the same notes and a return to the opening theme.
3rd movement – Dance of the Matryoshka Dolls
Also known as a Russian doll, the matryoshka is a hollow wooden doll containing a number of smaller dolls. The dance starts fast and lively and the first theme announced by the violin, characterizes the dainty dancing of the smaller dolls. In contrast, the 2nd theme when played by the double bass at a far slower tempo characterizes the heavy plodding movements of the larger dolls. The tempo reverts back to the original allegro where the first theme is now played by the viola followed by frequent interplay between the strings, bringing the dance to a fast and furious close.
—Lydia Kakabadse, September 2017
Here's what Sarah-Jane Bradley, one of the UK's top violists, has written about Russian Tableaux, a piece she has performed a number of times both in concert and for recording: "Russian Tableaux is a magical depiction of scenes of life in Russia, infused with nostalgic folksong-like melodies and the Eastern flavour of harmonic minor tonality. Lydia Kakabadse makes excellent and highly effective use of the unusual quartet combination, featuring the rich, dark sonority of the double bass as well as virtuoso writing for all four instruments in the final Dance of the Matryoshka Dolls. Well worth exploring - a joy for performers and listeners alike."
And from award-winning violinist Sara Trickey, who also has performed Russian Tableaux many times: "Russian Tableaux draws you into a unique sound world from the first moment you hear its unusual deep and dark sonorities. The music has a compelling and hypnotic quality at times which then is contrasted with highly energized passages, evocative of Russian dance. Lydia Kakabadse's use of the double bass in this quartet affects the overall sound considerably and infuses her work with a tone of melancholy and nostalgia. The work is also rewarding to play and has a unique stamp on it which makes it feel highly original and eminently worth exploring."
Score, 24 pages; Parts for Violin, Viola, Cello and Double Bass, 6 pages each; Total, 58 pages.Preview
Love Thee, Dearest, Thomas Moore
Arranged for Multi-Level Harp Ensemble by Judith Ross
Score and Parts for Harps I, II, III, and IV; PDF $8.75
Love Thee, Dearest is a popular Irish ballad with lyrics written by the famous poet Thomas Moore (1779-1852). Our harp ensemble arrangement was created by Judith Ross and is specifically designed for performance by harpists at varying levels. The Beginner, Easy, and lntermediate level parts may be performed on lever harp by one or more harpists. The Advanced part, for the teacher or advanced student, is designed to be performed by one person on pedal harp.
Judith Ross, founder and director of the Massachusetts Harp Ensemble, has created numerous harp ensemble arrangements over the years. She welcomes harpists of all levels of expertise into her group, so most of her arrangements are designed to include parts of different levels of difficulty. That way, anyone can have a chance to participate and join in the fun. The Massachusetts Harp Ensemble is a Boston area treasure, enjoyed and appreciated by local harp students and their teachers, many of whom are familiar with Ms. Ross’ arrangements in manuscript form. Now some of these works are available to the broader harp community in new, typeset editions prepared by Noteworthy Sheet Music.
Score, 5 pages; Harp I part, 1 page; Harp II part, 1 page; Harp III part, 2 pages; Harp IV part, 1 page; Total, 16 pages.Preview
US customers may purchase professionally-printed hard copies of Love Thee, Dearestdirectly from Noteworthy Sheet Music for $14.85 plus a $5.95 shipping and handling fee. Please use the Contact Us form to let us know which edition(s) you would like to purchase, along with your contact information and your USPO mailing address.
The Croppy Boy, Traditional Irish Ballad
Arranged for Multi-Level Harp Ensemble by Judith Ross
Score and Parts for Harps I, II, III, & IV, PDF $8.97
The Croppy Boy is one of the saddest lrish ballads of the 1798 rising. The title refers to the young rebel soldiers, who wore their hair closely cropped. This arrangement is specifically designed for performance by harpists at varying levels. The Beginner, Easy, and lntermediate level parts are intended for lever harp, but can be played on pedal harp, and may be performed by one or more harpists. The Advanced harp part, for the teacher or advanced student, is designed to be performed by one person on pedal harp, but can probably also be done on a lever harp having all the high and low strings.
Judith Ross received a B.M. with Distinction and M.A. from the Eastman School of Music. She studied harp with Eileen Malone and Pierre Jamet, and harmony, keyboard, and composition with Nadia Boulanger (considered one of the greatest musical pedagogues of the 20th century). She is a winner of the Paderewski Gold Medal in piano. Ms. Ross has given frequent solo and orchestral performances throughout New England, and is the founder and director of the Massachusetts Harp Ensemble. She has taught at the State University College of NY at Fredonia, Boston University, Lesley College, New England Conservatory, and El Coro de Niños in San Juan, Puerto Rico. For 37 years she taught solfège, harmony, form and analysis, and harp at the Longy School of Music in Cambridge, MA, where she is former Chair of the Theory Department.
Score, 7 pages; Harp I part, 1 page; Harp II part, 2 pages; Harp III part, 2 pages; Harp IV part, 1 page; Total, 22 pages.Preview
US customers may purchase professionally-printed hard copies of The Croppy Boy directly from Noteworthy Sheet Music for $15.25 plus a $5.95 shipping and handling fee. Please use the Contact Us form to let us know which print edition(s) you would like to purchase, along with your contact information and your USPO mailing address.
We Gather Together, by Adrianus Valerius
Arranged for Brass Ensemble by John W. Pratt
Quartet version: Score and Parts for C-Trumpet-1, C-Trumpet-2, F Horn, and Trombone;
Quintet version: Score and Parts for C-Trumpet-1, C-Trumpet-2, F Horn, Trombone, and Tuba;
Edition includes both Quartet and Quintet versions; PDF $7.99
Wilt heden nu treden, nowadays more commonly known as We Gather Together, is a Christian hymn of Dutch origin composed by Adrianus Valerius and first published in 1626 (imslp.org); it was later harmonized by Eduard Kremser (en.wikipedia.org). In the United States, We Gather Together is the most popular song traditionally associated with the Thanksgiving holiday. The Thanksgiving tradition in the Pratt household goes back as far as John Pratt (b. 1931) can remember, and when it fell to him to play all three stanzas at his family's annual gathering, he got interested in livening it up. He has now created an arrangement of We Gather Together for brass ensemble that lends new excitement and interesting harmonies to this old favorite. The opportunistic half-step modulations introduced to help amateur voices warm up also brighten successive stanzas for brass. The Noteworthy Sheet Music edition includes two variations of this brass arrangement, for quartet or quintet. Some of the parts (in addition to tuba) differ in the quartet and quintet arrangements, and we are including both complete sets of scores and parts in this single publication.
Note that for these publications, the parts should be printed one-sided since they are only one page each and we have not inserted blank filler pages.
Click to listen to an mp3 of a computer-generated rendition of the brass quartet arrangement; your live performances will of course be more realistic and appealing.
Brass Quartet: Score, 3 pages; Parts for C-Trumpet-1, C-Trumpet-2, F-Horn, and Trombone, 1 page each. Brass Quintet: Score, 3 pages; Parts for C-Trumpet-1, C-Trumpet-2, F-Horn, Trombone, and Tuba, 1 page each. Total, 18 pages.Preview