Classics for small wind ensembles

I offer colorful and imaginative arrangements of orchestral and piano music for concert bands and small wind ensembles. They’re all available for purchase and immediate download from Sheet Music Plus. (About Sheet Music Plus)

Woodwind Quintet

Borodin: Nocturne and Serenade from Petite Suite

for Woodwind Quintet: Flute, Oboe, Clarinet (B♭), Horn, and Bassoon

Two mellifluous selections from Alexander Borodin’s Petite Suite, a set of seven piano miniatures. Borodin subtitled the flowing, expressive Nocturne “Lulled by the happiness of being in love.” Serenade, subtitled “Dreaming of love,” evokes a love song accompanied by the strumming of a guitar. It’s perhaps best known as “Night of My Nights” from the stage and screen musical, Kismet. (For that popular-song “adaptation,” Robert Wright and George Forrest slightly simplified the melody and added a new ending. But otherwise the music is Borodin’s Serenade.)

Both pieces are great music for weddings or chamber ensemble concerts. This arrangement is appropriate for college and adult players. An advanced high school woodwind quintet might also enjoy the challenge.

This arrangement is also available for Clarinet Quartet.

Duration: approx. 3:45

Price: $15.00

See the Preview Score for program notes and arranger’s notes.

 

Performance by members of the Wallander Winds.

 

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Chaminade: Chanson Bretonne, Op. 76 No. 5

for Woodwind Quintet: Flute, Oboe, Clarinet (B♭), Horn, and Bassoon

Cécile Chaminade (1857-1944) was a prolific French composer and pianist, and the first woman composer elected to the French National Order of the Legion of Honor. Her music was very popular in the early 20th century, particularly in Britain and the United States. But by the end of the 20th century her music had unjustly fallen into obscurity, most likely because she persisted in composing in the tuneful and accessible French Romantic style long after that was deemed hopelessly old-fashioned.

Although she wrote orchestral and chamber works and an opera, Chaminade was best known for numerous songs and short piano pieces that amateur singers and pianists could perform in their parlors. Those piano pieces include a collection of six Romances sans paroles, “songs without words” published in 1893. Chanson bretonne, the “Breton song” from that collection, is a sprightly dance that deftly combines a Romantic notion of the Celtic folk music of Brittany with the sensibility of the 19th century French salon. This is a delightfully melodic and chromatically flavorsome French scherzo arranged for an intermediate-level woodwind quintet, suitable for high school and above. It’s a great concert opener or encore.

Duration: approx. 2:00

Price: $15.00

See the Preview Scores for program notes and arranger’s notes.

 

Performance by members of the Wallander Winds.

 

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Chopin: Contredanse

for Woodwind Quintet: Flute, Oboe, Clarinet (B♭), Horn, and Bassoon

An arrangement of a charming piano miniature by the 17-year-old Frédéric Chopin that captivated me when I first heard it on the radio.

Transposed to F from the original G♭ major, it’s an Intermediate-level piece suitable for high school and adult players. A delightful selection or encore for “Solo and Ensemble” concerts, an ensemble interlude for band concerts, or for weddings. Players and audiences alike will surely enjoy this arrangement.

This arrangement is also available for Clarinet Quartet.

Duration: approx. 1:40

Price: $15.00

See the Preview Scores for program notes and arranger’s notes.

 

Performance by members of the Wallander Winds.

 

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Dvorak: Waltz, Op. 54 No. 4

for Woodwind Quintet: Flute, Oboe, Clarinet (B♭), Horn, and Bassoon

This is the fourth of a set of eight waltzes Antonín Dvořák wrote for piano in 1880. It’s most often performed as the “Waltz in D major” in Dvořák’s arrangement for string quartet or string orchestra. Infused with Dvořák’s characteristic Czech flavor, the shifting moods, dynamics, and tempos make this a waltz more suited for listening than for dancing.

My arrangement for “advanced” woodwind quintet (transposed to B♭) offers a fresh and colorful interpretation of this tuneful waltz. Suitable for college or adult ensembles, or perhaps an adventurous high school quintet, it makes an excellent concert opener, finale, or encore.

Duration: approx. 3:30

Price: $15.00

See the Preview Score for program notes and arranger’s notes.

 

Performance by members of the Wallander Winds.

 

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Grieg: Five Norwegian Folk Tunes from Op. 17

for Woodwind Quintet: Flute, Oboe, Clarinet (B♭), Horn, and Bassoon

A suite of five selections from Edvard Grieg’s 25 Norske Folkeviser og Dandser (“25 Norwegian Folk Songs and Dances”) for piano, published in 1869 as Op. 17. Although much of Grieg’s original music is imbued with the flavor of Norwegian folk music, these are actual folk tunes from rural Norway. Grieg arranged them as short piano pieces in his own delightfully idiosyncratic style. I have now painted five of them in the colors of the woodwind quintet.

I chose selections that offer a range of emotions and colors, from spirited dances originally played on the hardingfele, a Norwegian fiddle, to melancholy folk songs: Leaping Dance (Springdans, No. 1), Last Saturday Night (Den siste lørdagskvelden, No. 15), Travel Song (Reiselåt, No. 13), The Horsefly and the Housefly (Kleggen og flugga, No. 17), and Peasant Dance (Stabbelåten, No. 18).

This arrangement is intended for advanced players at the college, university, or professional level, although a very proficient high school group should be able to play it. I’ve transposed the selections into effective keys for woodwind quintet, and provided suggested metronome markings to supplement Grieg’s indications.

Duration: approx. 6:05

Price: $18.00

See the Preview Score for program notes and arranger’s notes.

 

Performance by members of the Wallander Winds.

 

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Grieg: Four Lyric Pieces from Op. 12

for Woodwind Quintet: Flute, Oboe, Clarinet (B♭), Horn, and Bassoon

A suite of four selections from the popular first volume of Edvard Grieg’s Lyric Pieces for piano, written in 1867. It includes Album Leaf (Albumblad, Op. 12 No. 7), a jaunty tune flavored with Norwegian folk music; Waltz (Vals, Op. 12 No. 2), a French waltz with a Norwegian accent; Arietta (Op. 12 No. 1), a sweet and gentle lullaby that was one of Grieg's favorite melodies; and Elves’ Dance (Alfedans, Op. 71 No. 4, also called Fairy Dance), one of Grieg’s depictions of mischievous little beings from Norwegian folklore.

I’ve transposed the pieces into friendly keys for intermediate to advanced players. Album Leaf is transposed from E minor to D minor; Waltz is transposed from A minor/A major to C minor/C major; Arietta is in the original key of E♭ major; and Elves’ Dance is transposed from E minor to F minor.

Duration: approx. 5:25

Price: $18.00

See the Preview Score for program notes and arranger’s notes.

 

Performance by members of the Wallander Winds.

 

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Grieg: Three Lyric Pieces from Op. 71

for Woodwind Quintet: Flute, Oboe, Clarinet (B♭), Horn, and Bassoon

A suite of three selections from the tenth and final volume of Edvard Grieg’s Lyric Pieces for piano, written in 1901. It includes Remembrances (Efterklang, Op. 71 No. 7), a flowing, elegant waltz based on Arietta from Op. 12; Summer’s Eve (Sommeraften, Op. 71 No. 2), an impression of Norwegian summer twilight that presages Debussy and Ravel; and Puck (Småtroll, Op. 71 No. 3), Grieg’s whimsical portrait of a mischievous little troll.

This arrangement is intended for advanced players at the college, university, or professional level, although a very proficient high school group should be able to play it. Remembrances is in the original keys (E♭, D, and B♭ major). Summer’s Eve is transposed from D♭ major to C. Puck is transposed from E♭ minor to G minor.

Special thanks to Bill Malcolm for reviewing the draft of this arrangement and providing invaluable suggestions.

Duration: approx. 5:15

Price: $18.00

See the Preview Score for program notes and arranger’s notes.

 

Performance by members of the Wallander Winds.

 

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Haydn: Symphony No. 88 Finale (4th Movement)

for Woodwind Quintet: Flute, Oboe, Clarinet (B♭), Horn, and Bassoon

The complete ebullient finale of Haydn's Symphony No. 88. This arrangement is intended for advanced players at the college, university, or professional level, although a very proficient high school group should be able to play it. I transposed it to B♭ major from the original G major. It’s a fun piece for the players, and a joyful selection appropriate for any concert program.

Notes: Leonard Bernstein’s 1984 live concert recording with the Vienna Philharmonic inspired this arrangement. As you’d expect from Bernstein, it’s an idiosyncratic performance that at times puts the symphony's sunny cheerfulness on full display; while at other times he seems intent on giving it the gravity of Beethoven or Mahler.

The concert preserved on that recording was also videotaped. A segment of the video, an encore in which Bernstein repeats the finale but conducts it with only his face, is a famous clip on YouTube that’s worth looking up. It seems to have become a kind of projective test for commentators, who interpret it as everything from exemplary leadership to Lenny’s enormous ego compelling attention by not conducting.

Bernstein takes this movement at a breathless tempo that’s probably impractical for a woodwind quintet, because it would literally leave them breathless. (His 1963 recording with the New York Philharmonic takes it even faster.) I think the real reason Bernstein stood all but motionless during that encore was to immerse himself in the the unfettered joy this music expresses. And that’s what performers of my arrangement should strive for, even at a more reasonable tempo.

The 2007 reissue of the CD adds Bernstein and the Wieners’ equally fine and idiosyncratic performance of Haydn’s 94th Symphony (“Surprise”) from 1986. That recording inspired my arrangement of the famous second movement of that symphony for concert band.

I have also arranged this piece for Clarinet Quartet.

Duration: approx. 4:00

Price: $15.00

See the Preview Score for program notes and arranger’s notes.

 

Performance by members of the Wallander Winds.

 

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Mozart: Viennese Sonatina No. 1, K. 439b

for Woodwind Quintet: Flute, Oboe, Clarinet (B♭), Horn, and Bassoon

The six Viennese Sonatinas for piano are based on movements from a set of divertimenti Mozart originally wrote for three basset horns. This arrangement of the first Viennese Sonatina returns its four movements to their woodwind origins with the expanded colors of a quintet. The four movements are 1. Allegro brillante, 2. Minuet, 3. Interlude (adagio), and 4. Rondo spiritoso. They’re all tuneful little examples of Mozart's artistry. Appropriate for any concert program, this arrangement will delight players and audiences alike!

This is an “Intermediate-level” piece suitable for high school, college, and adult players. All the movements are transposed down a step into the friendly keys of B♭ and E♭. I have mostly retained Mozart’s three-part writing for various instrumental combinations. But I adjusted the registers of melody and accompaniment, and judiciously added new voices and lines, for color and variety.

I first encountered this Viennese Sonatina as child learning the clarinet. An appendix to a method book included arrangements of the first and fourth movements for three clarinets, which I particularly enjoyed playing with friends from my school band. I thus approached this arrangement as something meant to be enjoyable to play as well as listen to. While it offers the flavor of Classical-era woodwind music, this is not a scholarly attempt to construct what Mozart might have written for a woodwind quintet (which was not yet an established ensemble during his lifetime).

Duration: approx. 8:45

Price: $18.00

See the Preview Score for program notes and arranger’s notes.

 

Performance by members of the Wallander Winds.

 

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Peterson-Berger: At Froso Church (Vid Froso kyrka) from Frosoblomster

for Woodwind Quintet: Flute, Oboe, Clarinet (B♭), Horn, and Bassoon

At Frösö Church (Vid Frösö kyrka) is a selection from Swedish composer Wilhelm Peterson-Berger’s Frösöblomster (“Flowers from Frösö Island”), a collection of 21 short piano pieces published between 1896 and 1914. Influenced by the Lyric Pieces of Norwegian composer Edvard Grieg, these delightful miniatures evoke scenes of nature and life on rural Frösö, an island in central Sweden where the composer spent his summers.

This “flower” is from the first volume of Frösöblomster (Op. 16 No. 6). It’s an exquisite little tone poem depicting a tranquil Sunday morning at Frösö Church, where Peterson-Berger is now buried. The woodwind quintet arrangement enhances the original organ-like sonority. This is a great piece for weddings, church services, or as a reflective piece in a concert program. It‘s also a fine exercise in ensemble, balance, and expressive cantabile playing. Transposed to F from the original D-flat, it‘s appropriate for advanced high school ensembles and for college and adult players.

Duration: approx. 3:20

Price: $15.00

See the Preview Scores for program notes and arranger’s notes.

 

Performance by the Manhattan Beach Chamber Players: Pam Conde, flute; Nina Siegel, oboe; Joanne Davidson, clarinet; Roger Eastman, horn; Bill Malcolm, bassoon.

Performance by members of the Wallander Winds.

 

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Rossini: Danse siberienne

for Woodwind Quintet: Flute, Oboe, Clarinet (B♭), Horn, and Bassoon

Danse sibérienne is one of Gioachino Rossini's Péchés de vieillesse (“Sins of Old Age”), a 14-volume collection of light-hearted miniatures he wrote during the last 11 years of his life, long after he had retired from writing the operas for which he is best known. Written for piano in 1864, Danse sibérienne is a delightfully clever imitation of a Russian dance from an Italian composer living in France. When I first heard it on the radio I thought it was a work of a 20th century Russian composer, perhaps Shostakovich or Kabalevsky.

My arrangement for “advanced” woodwind quintet captures the playfulness of Rossini’s piano piece. But I kept my initial confusion about its authorship in mind while writing it. It’s transposed up half a step from the original f-sharp minor. Suitable for college or adult ensembles, or perhaps an adventurous high school quintet, it’s a fun and entertaining concert opener, finale, or encore.

Special thanks to Bill Malcolm for reviewing the draft of this arrangement and providing invaluable suggestions.

Duration: approx. 2:15

Price: $15.00

See the Preview Score for program notes and arranger’s notes.

 

Performance by members of the Wallander Winds.

 

Preview Score (PDF)

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Sullivan: Patience Overture

for Woodwind Quintet: Flute, Oboe, Clarinet (B♭), Horn, and Bassoon

Patience is W.S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan’s satire on the Aesthetic movement that was in its heyday when the opera premiered in 1881. Aestheticism exalted “art for art’s sake,” often to the detriment of content or meaning. The topical nature of the plot means Patience is less frequently performed than other Gilbert and Sullivan works. But the opera remains entertaining and relevant because it also satirizes the timeless notions of fads, celebrity, pretentiousness, and (of course) romantic love. That’s all reflected in an elegantly-constructed overture that’s a cut above the usual potpourri of tunes.

This arrangement for woodwind quintet deftly captures all the fun and exuberance of the overture. It’s an “Advanced Intermediate” work suitable for college/university and adult quintets, and for proficient high school players. It’s fun for players and audiences alike, and makes an exciting concert curtain-raiser or finale.

Special thanks to Bill Malcolm for reviewing the draft of this arrangement and providing invaluable suggestions.

I have also made an arrangement of this piece for concert band.

Duration: approx. 5:30

Price: $18.00

See the Preview Score for program notes and arranger’s notes.

 

Performance by members of the Wallander Winds.

 

Preview Score (PDF)

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Sullivan: Two Daydreams

for Woodwind Quintet: Flute, Oboe, Clarinet (B♭), Horn, and Bassoon

Day Dreams is a collection of six pieces for solo piano that the young Arthur Sullivan published in 1867. The pieces amply demonstrate a natural melodic gift that would reach full fruition in the enduring comic operas Sullivan later wrote with W.S. Gilbert.

This is a contrasting pair of Daydreams, numbers 2 and 6, arranged for woodwind quintet. The first Daydream is an expressive cantabile aria that, at least for me, evokes the music of Robert Schumann. Sullivan didn’t give titles to any of the Day Dreams, so I’ve titled this one Robert and Clara, after Schumann and his wife, who was also a pianist and composer. The oboe, clarinet, and horn sing the complete melody, but everyone gets at least a fragment of it. This selection is great for weddings and church services, as well as for the concert hall.

The second Daydream, À l’Hongroise, is the flashy finale of the Day Dreams collection. It’s a spirited Hungarian-inspired dance with a chromatic melody in shifting tonality, with harmonic turns audacious enough to thrill even 21st century listeners, culminating in a wide-ranging arpeggio passage for the four woodwinds.

This is an arrangement for “advanced” players, college-level or adult, though proficient high school players might also enjoy the challenge. I’ve transposed both selections up half a step from the original keys of D major and f-sharp minor.

Duration: approx. 6:12

Price: $18.00

See the Preview Score for program notes and arranger’s notes.

 

Performance by members of the Wallander Winds.

 

Preview Score (PDF)

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Viardot: Serenade from Deux pièces pour piano

for Woodwind Quintet: Flute, Oboe, Clarinet (B♭), Horn, and Bassoon

Sérénade by Pauline Garcia Viardot (1821-1910) is a piquant Spanish dance imbued with the rhythms of Flamenco and the classic harmonies of Andalusia. Although she was a French composer, singer, and teacher born in Paris, Viardot’s Spanish heritage lends the piece a special authenticity.

Sérénade is one of the Two Pieces for Piano published in 1885. Viardot originally conceived Sérénade as a virtuosic showpiece. This version for an “advanced” woodwind quintet emphasizes its purely musical aspects, but retains just enough bravura to make it exciting for players and audiences. Above all, it's a hauntingly melodic and colorful souvenir of a time when French composers and their audiences were infatuated with all things Spanish.

Sérénade immediately captivated me when I first heard it on the radio. I decided to arrange it before I even knew what it was. So I’m sure it will delight your audiences as part of a concert program or as an encore. This arrangement is appropriate for college and adult players. An advanced high school woodwind quintet might also enjoy the challenge.

Duration: approx. 3:00

Price: $15.00

See the Preview Score for program notes and arranger’s notes.

 

Performance by members of the Wallander Winds.

 

Preview Score (PDF)

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