Best Book Publishers UK | Austin Macauley Publishers

By: John Macfarlane

A Clarinet Almanac

Pages: 396 Ratings:
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More than 60 years’ experience in playing the clarinet has led to a very personal and idiosyncratic review of the repertoire. From the point of view of being both a player and a programmer the author has endeavoured to find works for unusual combinations involving the clarinet. This book includes a few orchestral solos and several vocal works (both chamber and operatic), but it is focussed on chamber music and includes gems from the repertoire for the standard wind quintet. The clarinet features as a solo instrument, in duos with a surprisingly large variety of instruments and in mixed trios, quartets and so on to larger ensembles. During the course of one year the reader will be exposed to 366 works, probably some unfamiliar, by 245 different composers. The author hopes it will whet the appetites of students, teachers and concert organizers alike.

John Macfarlane is a retired English born physician and musician whose specialist training in rheumatology followed gaining his clarinet performing and teaching diplomas from the Royal College of Music in London, having been taught by Thea King as an external student. Combining these two specialisms was often tricky and, having moved to the Netherlands in 1978, a day of clinical work was sometimes succeeded by playing clarinet and saxophone in the orchestra pit of an Amsterdam theatre. In addition to the occasional spot of professional playing on clarinet, basset horn or bass clarinet, he has conducted choirs and orchestras, has edited works by others for a publisher, has taught the clarinet, has made numerous arrangements and even dabbled in composition. He has even had the good luck to have played clarinet with Jack Brymer and Alan Hacker. A lifelong curiosity into unusual instrument combinations has led him to acquiring music of untold variety, often 20th century, much of which is the basis for this book.

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