Ecstasy, Op.19 No.2, by Mrs. H. H. A. Beach
Two versions, for "Low voice (in Db)" or "High voice (in Eb)", with Alto Flute Obbligato (transcribed) and Piano.
Alternative parts for Alto Flute Solo and Bb Clarinet Obbligato.
Program Notes by Peter H. Bloom.
Piano Scores, Voice Parts, Alto Flute Obbligato Parts, and alternative Alto Flute Solo Parts and Clarinet Obbligato Parts; PDF $8.99
Noteworthy Sheet Music is thrilled to publish our edition of Amy Marcy Cheney Beach's song Ecstasy in 2017, in celebration of the 150th anniversary of the composer's birth. The idea to make Ecstasy available to a broader combination of players and singers came from flutist Peter H. Bloom, who proposed that the piece would be an excellent vehicle with which instructors might inform students (early and advanced alike) about interpretation of the highly romantic late 19th century idiom. To that end, we have packaged together in a single edition Mrs. H. H. A. Beach's two versions of Ecstasy, for "low voice (in Db)" and "high voice (in Eb)", with each version including transcriptions of the obbligato (originally for violin) for either alto flute in G or clarinet in Bb, and an alternative solo part in the form of an alto flute transcription of the voice line. Thus, multiple performance variations are possible, including high or low voice and piano with either alto flute or clarinet obbligato, or fully instrumental versions for alto flute and piano, or two alto flutes and piano, or alto flute, clarinet, and piano.
Scores, 8 pages (4 pages each version); Voice parts, 2 pages (1 page each version); Alto Flute Obbligatos, 2 pages (1 page each version); Clarinet Obbligatos, 2 pages (1 page each version); Alto Flute solo parts, 2 pages (1 page each version); Total, 20 pages.Preview
Two Songs, Op.91, by Johannes Brahms
Transcribed for Clarinet by John W. Pratt (part originally for viola)
Clarinet Part, PDF $5.99
The two chamber music songs of Brahms' Zwei Gesänge, Op.91 were composed specifically for his dear friends, the violinist/violist Joseph Joachim and the mezzo-soprano Amalie Schneeweiss, who were married in 1863. The songs (for alto, viola, and piano) were written over 20 years apart, but Brahms published them together as Op.91 in 1884.
"Gestillte Sehnsucht", which appears first in the Op.91 pairing, was actually written second, in 1884. The song sets the text of the poem by Friedrich Rückert (1788-1866). "Gestillte Sehnsucht" is a nature poem, filled with images of forests at sunset, gentle breezes, and twittering birds. Rückert is famous not only for his exquisite poems themselves but also for the great inspiration his work provided to numerous prominent composers, in addition to Brahms. "Geistliches Wiegenlied" (Sacred Cradle Song) was first composed in 1863-1864, and later revised. The viola opens with the melody of the medieval Christmas carol "Joseph, lieber Joseph mein." The singer has her own variation of the melody, and enters after the first stanza of the viola's carol. The song is a beautiful cradle-rocking lullaby, in 6/8 time.
It is said that the viola was Brahms' favorite stringed instrument, and the composer gave the viola a major role in both of these songs, allowing it to open both pieces before the singer enters. Clarinetists have long coveted these viola parts, and various performances have provided clear evidence that a successful outcome can be achieved with the substitution of a clarinet for the viola in Op.91. So when a clarinetist friend of ours asked us to create a transcription for him, we gladly obliged. Our edition of the clarinet part adapts the first song, "Gestillte Sehnsucht", for clarinet in A, and the second, "Geistliches Wiegenlied", for clarinet in Bb. The original piano score and voice part are in the public domain, readily available as free PDF downloads from IMSLP.org.
Clarinet part, 4 pages; Total, 8 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
Meerfahrt, Nachtgesang, and Der Fischer, Op.31, by M. Hauptmann
Facsimile Edition plus a Transcription of the violin part for Flute by C.A.Vater
Score for Violin, Voice, & Piano, Violin Part, and Flute Part, PDF $18.75
Moritz Hauptmann (1792-1868) was a renowned music theorist, pedagogue, violinist, and composer. In 1842, at Mendelssohn's recommendation, he was appointed cantor at the Thomasschule and professor of composition at the newly founded Leipzig Conservatory. Hauptmann published a major scholarly work on music theory in 1853, "Die Natur der Harmonik und Metrik" (The Nature of Harmony and Meter), as well as some 60 compositions.
Hauptmann's Op.31 comprises three lovely songs scored for voice with accompaniment of violin and piano: No.1, Meerfahrt (Sea Voyage); No.2, Nachtgesang (Night Song); and No.3, Der Fischer (The Fisherman). The vocal range extends from B3 to G5, and thus is well-suited for mezzo-soprano. These pieces were published by C. F. Peters as part of a larger volume, now in the public domain, entitled "Lieder-Album für eine Singstimme mit Pianoforte und Violin Begleitung". Our edition contains an "enhanced" facsimile of the original, plus a new transcription of the violin part for flute created using a modern music notation program. The three songs may be performed with comparable gratification utilizing the accompaniment of either violin or flute, along with the voice and piano.
Score, 15 pages; Violin part, 5 pages; Flute part, 5 pages; Total, 29 pages.Preview
In die Ferne, Op.98, No.1, by J. W. Kalliwoda
Facsimile Edition plus Transcription of Violin part for Flute by C.A.Vater
Score for Violin, Voice, & Piano, Violin Part, Flute Part, PDF $5.99
Johann Wenzel Kalliwoda (1801‒1866) was a Bohemian violinist, conductor, and composer who spent much of his career in Donaueschingen, where he served as the conductor of the court orchestra for Prince Karl Egon II of Fürstenberg. Kalliwoda composed numerous works, including operas, symphonies, pieces for piano, violin and orchestra, and chamber music.
Kalliwoda's song In die Ferne (Far Away) was published in a nineteenth century collection of lieder, along with several songs by Hauptmann and Reinecke. The vocal range of In die Ferne extends from E4 to G#5, and thus is well-suited for either soprano or mezzo-soprano. Our edition contains "enhanced" facsimiles of the original score (violin, voice, and piano) and violin part, plus a transcription of the violin part for flute created using a modern music notation program. Therefore, In die Ferne may be performed using the accompaniment of either violin or flute, along with the voice and piano.
Score, 6 pages; Violin and Flute parts, 1 page each; Total, 12 pages.Preview
U.S. customers may purchase professionally-printed hard copies of In die Fernefor $10.18 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.
Waldesgruss and Frühlingsblumen, Op.26, by C. Reinecke
Facsimile Edition plus Transcriptions for Flute & Alto Flute by C.A.Vater
Score for Violin, Voice, & Piano, Violin Part, Flute & Alto Flute Parts, PDF $9.98
Carl Reinecke (1824-1910) was a renowned German pianist, composer, conductor, and teacher of composition. He composed numerous works, and for over 35 years was a leader of the music scene in Leipzig. Reinecke's Op.26 includes two songs for voice with accompaniment of violin and piano: No.1, Waldesgruss (The Forest's Greeting); and No.2, Frühlingsblumen (Spring Flowers). The vocal range of Reinecke's Op.26 lieder extends from C4 to A5, and thus is well-suited for either soprano or mezzo-soprano.
Our edition contains an "enhanced" facsimile of the original score and violin part, plus new transcriptions of the violin part for either alto flute or flute. Thus, the two songs may be performed utilizing the accompaniment of violin, alto flute, or flute, along with the voice and piano. Alternatively, these pieces work very well as an instrumental arrangement with the voice part played on flute, accompanied by alto flute and piano.
Score, 6 pages; Violin, Alto Flute, and Flute parts, 2 pages each; Total, 18 pages.Preview
Der Hirt auf dem Felsen, Op.129, by F. Schubert
Obbligato Transcribed for Alto Flute in G by Peter H. Bloom
Alto Flute Part, PDF $5.99
In the preface to his transcription, Mr. Bloom writes: "In terms of color, nuance, expression, dynamics, and tessitura the obbligato works exquisitely on the alto flute. Theobald Boehm (1794-1881) designed our first modern alto flute in 1847. Had Schubert (born in 1797) survived to hear it, I have no doubt that he would have made the alto flute an essential part of his armory of orchestration..... Der Hirt auf dem Felsen is very effective, also, in a purely instrumental arrangement for flute (taking the vocal line) and alto flute obbligato. It's an ideal didactical vehicle for coaching the developing flutist in the art of rhetorical performance as well as a splendid concert/recital piece."
The premiere of Schubert's The Shepherd on the Rock, with obbligato transcribed for alto flute, was performed by D'Anna Fortunato (Mezzo-Soprano), Peter H. Bloom (Alto Flute), and Mary Jane Rupert (Piano) during a concert at the Gibson Theatre in Elmira, NY, on November 3, 2009, as part of the Elmira College Encore Series.
"Flutist Peter Bloom has done an invaluable service to Schubert and to concert singers by providing this charming arrangement, for alto flute, of the original clarinet obbligato to Der Hirt auf dem Felsen. I've performed it in this version on several occasions and find that the flute timbre is alluring. It's so easy to blend with and respond to the alto flute! I believe that, had it been possible, the composer, himself, would have truly enjoyed this arrangement at a Schubertiade performance of his own." - D'Anna Fortunato
We provide our alto flute transcription of the obbligato part, originally for clarinet. The voice and piano parts are readily available as a free pdf download of the score, from sources such as imslp.org/.
Alto Flute part, 4 pages of music; Total, 8 pages.Preview
Sing-Along Materials, arranged by John W. Pratt
Piano Scores and Lyrics, Free Downloads
In an ongoing project with John Pratt, we are uploading a variety of free materials for community sing-alongs. These include large-font lyrics sheets and piano scores with modifications or arrangements by Mr. Pratt. Just click on the title links or download buttons to access the pdfs, free of charge.
We Gather Together - Netherlands folk song
Our friend John Pratt decided to liven up the traditional Thanksgiving hymn when he plays it at his extended family's annual feast, and we decided to make his version freely available to others similarly inclined. The first stanza is traditional, the second adds all the octaves John is able to play, and the third replaces the usual bass line with one which marches along stepwise, mostly in eighths, leading to a few untraditional harmonies.
One of the most common problems with song books for community sing-alongs, especially for seniors, is that the lyrics are too small to be seen easily. John Pratt has created large-font lyrics sheets with the words (public domain) for 42 popular songs for the holiday season. Open the pdf by clicking the link above and print as few or as many as you'd like.
Mr. Pratt has also created a booklet format for the large-font lyrics for holiday songs  to , called The NSM Carol Book, which is handy for group sing-alongs and is easily re-usable. The booklets should be printed double-sided on 8.5" x 11" paper (or 9" x 12", if available), stapled in the middle and folded to form a 5.5" x 8.5" booklet. Since printing directions will be different for every printer, we leave it to our visitors to know what settings to use on their own equipment to have all pages come out in order, right-side up, etc. With my Canon ImageCLASS MF4890 machine, for example, I would do the following: print using fit to page, landscape orientation, 2-sided, flipping on short edge; then staple along the mid-line and fold down the center along the staples so that the Contents are on the front page. Note that a long-arm stapler (reaching to 5.5") is required for manual stapling, but some institutions may have printer/copiers that can auto-staple along the mid-line.