This is an arrangement of one of Beethoven’s tunes for mechanical timepieces. It was quite common in the late Classical and early romantic periods for composers to be commissioned to write music for musical boxes and other mechanical instruments, including tiny organs. It is thought the music for these pieces was written with the “Flötenuhr” (Lit. Flute Time) in mind although there also exists a piano 4-hands version.
Originally written for three A Level students to play, this trio for winds has a bit of a chequered history, in that it has been re-arranged for a number of different instrumental groups. Here it is presented for clarinet, horn and bassoon. The programme is that of three flautists busking at a country fair to earn a bit of cash. They are competing with each other as to who is the best. Obviously, that storyline loses a little in translation onto the current ensemble, but the competition between the players still stands!
n original piece for brass trio transcribed here for wind trio (Clarinet in Bb, Horn in F and Bassoon). The original was written in response to a call for scores for 2 trumpets, 0 horns and 1 trombone. Using the numbers helped me to shape the musical material. All the instruments get a fair share of prominence so no one is left just doing the “um-chucks”! The music takes the form of a rondo, with a repeating motif that forms the opening 8 bars. The speed is Presto, but the 152 is only a suggestion – the players need, for best effect, to be able to play a full phrase (the ritornello) in one breath. It will take practice, but it is great fun.
Basically it is a set of three dances loosely described as Allemande, Courante and Jygg. Orchestration is for wind quintet Flute, Oboe, Clarinet in Bb, Horn in F and Bassoon.
The style of the first one is marcato, with a touch of irony! The bassoon leads with an Alberti pattern followed by the first melodic idea stated on the horn. This motif is eventually taken up by all the instruments. The melody then morphs into a lovely little B-section melody on the flute with an oboe obbligato before the DS. Surprisingly simple, but 3 mins long.
Movement 2 plays on the meaning of courante (running). It's in 3, as courantes were. Each instrument has an important role in keeping the music flowing - even the bassoon and horn. The middle section has a mournful bassoon melody with weaving contrapuntal lines from all the others. There's a bridge into the DS and the first section is repeated, leading eventually to the short coda.
Movement 3 is the hardest movement. It's in 9/8 with lots of dynamism. It also has a few modern touches. After the short (2 bars) 12/8 section, there is a Berlioz-esque dance of the witches type of fever about the music. Then DS to fine