recommended by Dan C., Orchestra Music Specialist
The cream-of-the-crop of this year’s Baroque, Classical and Romantic pieces in outstanding educational arrangements.
Concerto in D for Strings by Telemann/arr. Steven Frackenpohl, Grade 3
Telemann can always provide concert sparkle as his music falls in the cusp between Baroque and Classical. Everyone has active parts: the higher parts have more flash, while the lower parts ground the piece with rolling basso continuo. There is chromaticism, on-the-string 16ths and rhythmic drive – just what you want from Telemann.
Allegro Spiritoso (from Divertimento #8, K213) by W.A. Mozart/arr. Marcia Stockton, Grade 3
A natural piece for string orchestra, this effervescent movement from Divertimento #8, K213, originally for wind sextet, will keep everyone spiritedly on their toes. With its Classical style, chromaticism and 16th note pickups, it is marvelous Mozart all the way!
Lady Radnor’s Suite: Slow Minuet by Sir Hubert Parry/arr. Robert Sieving, Grade 3
Sir Hubert Parry was influenced by Wagner, Brahms and Mendelssohn and passed on his passion to students such as Holst, Vaughan Williams & Frank Bridge. This movement would be excellent for smaller chamber groups where you can polish a sense of ensemble, concentrate on color, timbre and balance and encourage an artfully elegant, mature sound.
Symphony #104 Finale by F.J. Haydn/arr. Todd Parrish, Grade 3.5
The sparkle of this masterwork is undeniable. This exuberant finale, masterfully arranged, is Haydn at his best. As is typical of Haydn, the melody is in the upper strings and the harmony in the lower, but it is still an excellence teaching piece for everyone on the classical style, bow technique, shifting and dynamics.
Presto (from Symphony #1) by F.J. Haydn/arr. Robert D. McCashin, Grade 4
This spirited opening movement of Haydn’s First Symphony would actually make a fantastic closer for any high school performance! It demonstrates his substantial range of invention, organization of thought, musical ideas, and inventive compositional prowess at a young age. The movement is full of rhythmic and harmonic surprises and though the violins get the melodic action, the other parts drive it, so everyone is kept plenty busy. Use it to teach 16th note scales, dynamic extremes and accidentals on G#, D# and A#.
Intermezzo (from Carmen) by Georges Bizet/arr. John Caponegro, Grade 4
To provide an “ahh” factor to any high school concert, choose this glorious, flowing operatic gem from a master of melody. Incorporating triplets, grace notes, shifting and plenty of rubato, your basses will solidly anchor it while everyone else glimmers.
About the Author:
Dan C. has worked at Stanton’s since 1979, primarily with orchestra music and print promotions. A “working” musician, he’s a classical cellist, a rock & jazz bassist and a folk & country guitarist/singer. His free time is spent with family or reading, gardening, cycling and working puzzles. His series of musical puzzles (RP3 Rebus Puzzle Picture People) can be found on the Stanton’s Facebook page each Sunday. He also has a reputation as a pretty good joke teller. Seriously.