K033 Three Pieces

deutsch K033 Drei Stücke

K33 Trois Pièces

pour clarinette seule – Drei Stücke für Soloklarinette – Three Pieces for Clarinet Solo – Tre pezzi per clarinetto solo

Scored for: Clarinet in A (1st and 2nd piece) and B b (3rd piece).

Performance practice: Instructions (in French) on the interpretation, which are to be followed strictly, were printed at the front of the printed editions (1st page of the score) by Strawinsky, and put into English by the publishers: > Dans ces 3 Pièces respecter toutes / les respirations, les accents et / le mouvement métronomique – The breath marks, accents and metronome / marks indicated in the 3 Pieces / should be strictly adhered to<.

Construction: These are three self-standing works without titles and numbered with Roman numerals; they bear corresponding indications in French and English regarding the preferred type of clarinet for each and Italian performance markings. It cannot be ruled out that Strawinsky, as with the three-part string-quartet composition, may have conceived of more than three pieces but then just left it at the three that were finished, since the clarinet suite should by implication have been extended with other types, as it is constructed.



Clarinette en La de préférence.

Preferably Clarinet in A

Sempre p e molto tranquillo Crotchet = 52 (bar 1-28)

poco più ¦ e poco più mosso (bar 29-30)


Clarinette en La de préférence.

Preferably Clarinet in A

Quaver = quaver / semiquaver = semiquaver / three semiquavers = quaver = 168 (without bar lines

[62 quavers with 1 Fermata up to double barline; after double bar 93 quavers with 2 Fermatas

up to the end])


Clarinette en Sib de préférence.

Preferably Clarinet in Bb

Quaver = 160 (61 bars)

Style: The pieces are three differently characterised moments of inspiration in the style of stereotypical atmospheric tableaux; after a restrained, contemplative section follows an extrovert, brilliant virtuoso piece and a popular dance of American origin, which was gradually becoming more popular, finishes the set in a rough, folksy manner. The individual types are even seen in the unconventional meter a great deal. In the first piece, Strawinsky has 22 of the 30 bars alternating between 2/4, 5/8, 7/8, 3/4, and 6/8; in the 61 bars of the final piece, there are 46 time changes, including such exotic meters as 3/16, 5/16 and even 6/16, while the middle piece is metrically free and without barlines, apart from a caesura on a double-barline and another fermata inside. Strawinsky liked to use such combinations at that time. He later simplified them greatly, as can be observed in the Symphony of Wind Instruments edition. These changes in meter fulfil a rather construct than an audible rhythmic function. The intervallic combination occurs from inside a single meter. The works thus have the effect, unlike in certain sections of the Sacre , of being neither excited nor disturbed in terms of tempo, rather unified and complete as if there were a constant basic meter running throughout. The manner of construction is presented from bar to bar. Strawinsky’s standard manipulation of details are present: the mosaic-like manipulation of building blocks, changing accents, augmentation and diminution of note values, range extension and narrowing and other similar devices. The first two bars of the first piece, for example, span a seven-note motif (without consideration for the exact position of the pitches: a-b-g#-c#-f#-g#- f#) with an entire duration of 9 quavers. The same motif is shortened in bar 4 and at the beginning of bar 5 to a length of 7 quavers (without consideration for the exact position of the pitches: a-b-g#-c#-f#-f#-g#). The difficulty in the analysis comes in bar 3 (without consideration for the exact position of the pitches: g sharp) which, in Strawinsky’s compressed form, can be interpreted in a variety of ways: as a continuation of bar 2 and belonging to the combination of bars 1 and 2, or as an interlude between the combination of bar 1 and bar 2 to bar 4. If one accepts the first explanation, the seven-note motif becomes an eight-note motif; the continuation ends immediately and Strawinsky simply removes the first G sharp at the diminution. If one accepts the second version however, then Strawinsky retains the seven-note motif in the structure, but inverts the final two notes: f#-g# becomes g#-f# in a forward-looking, pointilliste (in German >punktuell<) technique of composition, using the 2/4-bar combination of bar 3 as a division between the two phrases. In addition, the downwards leap from c# to f# now has a motivation; when it returns, it appears as an upwards octave leap from f# to f# and, particularly on a clarinet, the musical identity of the colour disappears. This double meaning of the construction shows the extent of the possibilities that are available to composers and from which they must select. It also proves the difficulty of single analysis, which aims further than the original object if it does not allow other possible solutions for the work’s construction from the start. At bar 5, Strawinsky begins a gradual expansion of tessitura towards the depths with the principle of constructive chromaticism. What may serve as a further example of this forward-looking, pointilliste technique of intervallic construction is the downward four-note quaver motif with upbeat (c#-g#-f#-e with upbeat a) of bar 16 which is repeated with a combinatorial change of the first two notes that are heard (a-g#-f#-e with upbeat c#) in bar 17, so that bars 16 and 17 form a characteristic structural unit (2/4). The moments of constructivist formation do not disturbe the atmosphere. Furthermore, one cannot avoid the impression that the first motif was written with reminiscences of the melancholy Song of the Volga Boatmen which Strawinsky had orchestrated in 1917 in Rome as a replacement for the Russian national anthem. The musical direction and the rhythm correspond up to the end of the motif and the pitches correspond up to the end of the first bar. The second piece is in a loose A-B-A construction, the middle section of which introduces a change to the motor rhythm of the opening characterised by upbeats so that the piece can end with a truncated A section, or coda in the character of the A section. The third piece is a free Ragtime. Among its notable points of construction are: rapid chromatic alternations of notes in a metrically confined intervallic cluster (5/16 bar 22: a-b-a b-b b-g; 3/16 bar 28: f-a-f#; 2/4 bar 49: f#-f-f#-f-f#-f; 5/16 bar 51: e-g-b-g#-e), the changing accent on the note that is retained (2/4 bar 37: a b- e -f-a b / e -f-a b- e with an additional Marcato on the first a b) and the one-bar montage with compositional elements that refer both back and forwards in the work: for example bar 50 (2/4) contains the elements of bar 49 (f#-f-f#-f# = see example above) for three quavers and for one quaver the elements from bar 51 (g#-b = see example above). He gives a rest to allow a breath before the final f# however, which technically results in the f# being just as much at the end of the preceding element as at the beginning of the subsequent one. – Although the Pieces for Clarinet were written around the time of the Soldier’s Tale and Les Noces , there are connections in the musical material in the third movement, but only indirectly from the Ragtime rhythm; this connection should not be seen as the influence of the stage work on the clarinet work, rather it is Strawinsky’s individual, idiosyncratic Ragtime, which was a new structural element for him in the same way in the Soldier’s Tale as in the Clarinet Pieces , and which resulted in a further series of other compositions. The Clarinet Pieces form their own compositional type which Strawinsky only developed further in technical craft and which therefore offers itself badly for comparison. All the pieces are atmospheric tableaux assembled in a constructivist manner. The second piece with its meter without bar lines, like the violin passages from the Soldier’s Tale , belongs to a series of works in which Strawinsky gives the impression of improvisation but is in thruth a meticulous motivic construction. In the final piece, the Ragtime rhythms contain more familiar sounds not for a listener of the time but for today’s listener.

Dedication: >Musique pour Clarinette-solo et pour Werner Reinhart composée par Igor Strawinsky< [Music for Clarinet solo and for Werner Reinhart composed]. The dedication i s a text which was included in the title of the autograph score. The printed editions bear the dedication with to the underlined and laid out main title >TROIS PIÈCES POUR / CLARINETTE SOLO< on the title page in capital letters > DÉDIÉES À / WERNER REINHART / (1919)<.

Duration: about 3' 45".

Date of origin: 1919 in Morges.

First performance: 8th November 1919 in Lausanne, Clarinet: Edmond Allegra.

Remarks: Werner Reinhart (1884-1951), just 35 years old in 1919 and an owner of great wealth, was one of Strawinsky’s patrons during his time in Switzerland who, among others, financed the performance of the Soldier’s Tale ; he became the owner of the autograph score of Les Noces and the Soldier’s Tale (which he gave, together with other of Strawinsky’s materials to the Rychenberg Foundation in Winterthur) and later organised concerts for Strawinsky’s benefit. The violinist Alma Moodie was particularly friendly with him, of something which Strawinsky had to be considerated (she played the première of the Pulcinella Suite with Strawinsky on 25th November 1925 in Frankfurt). Reinhart, who from1921 had granted his castle, Château de Muzot to be Rainer Maria Rilke’s home in the last years of his life, was an amateur clarinettist, and it was suggested that he considered having a piece written for his instrument, especially as Strawinsky had shown a proclivity towards the clarinet. The clarinet pieces, which Strawinsky produced either out of friendship or as a paid or compensated commission was certainly too difficult for Reinhart’s technical ability; otherwise, he would certainly have taken it upon himself to perform the première himself, which Edmond Allegra, the clarinettist for the première of the Soldier’s Tale played. The first of the pieces comes from one of the compositions never published during Strawinsky’s lifetime for two bassoons, which Strawinsky gave the German title >LIED OHNE NAME / für zwei Fagotten**< [Song without name / for two bassoons] in the sketch autograph of 1918.

* Grammatical error (>Fagotte< instead of >Fagotten<).

Versions: The three Pieces for Clarinet were published by the beginning of October 1920 at the latest by Chester in London and no longer by the circuitous route via Henn in Geneva, whose position was still seen as a subsidiary branch. The contributory copy in the British Library in London bears the date of entry 5th November 1920. The edition was, in accordance with the original and the times, in French and was presumably replaced 5 years later by a new English-language printing by the same publishers. This edition was then reprinted unaltered, as can be seen from the Chester advertising text, which the publishers were glad to use; it alludes to more than 25 years from which important works by Strawinsky were published by Chester as the work of one of the leading contemporary composers (>Over 25 years ago the House of Chester was the first English music publishing house to / recognise the importance of, and to issue in their own edition, the compositions of this / world famous composer. / It will be noted that these works contain many of his most important contributions / to music of this century.<). With the assignment to Hansen, there came a new design with a colourful, artistic and entirely different cover which, according to catalogue information from the Deutsche Bücherei In Leipzig, was published in 1965 (4 S. 23.5 x 30.7 (2°); Pl.-Nr. J. W. C. 1551). This edition contains instructions on the first page of music for a style of playing using the Boehm fingering technique. An American edition was published before 1958 by the International Music Company in New York (3 S. etwa 19.5 x 27; Ed.-Nr. 2453). According to Hare, there were 19 versions with almost 30,000 copies sold in total up to the Hare edition of 1993. The edition of 1993, revised by Nicholas Hare for Chester publishers is based on the Reinhart autograph, which is stored in Winterthur, and exclusively on a Chester first printing with the plate number J. W. C. 1151 and copyright marking 1920 which, according to Hare, is in the possession of the British Library. This must be the result of a harmless written error. The British Library has only one version, the French-language edition of the Pieces for Clarinet under the signature h.3992.c.(3). This copy, with the entry date 1 stOctober 1920 bears, like all the subsequent editions, the plate number J.W.C. 1551 and not J.W.C. 1151, as is given six times in Hare’s foreword and twice in the musical text. Hare’s assertion, until the later print-run of 1986 after Strawinsky’s death, that the first print-run remained unaltered can be amended due to the fact that the incorrect rhythm in bar 43 of the third movement, arising from the omission of a beam (4/16 bar of two semiquavers and three quavers instead of a 4/16 bar of 2 demisemiquavers and three semiquavers; footnote 5 in Hare’s version) had already been revised before 1986.

Historical Recording: There are no recordings from Strawinsky that have survived in sound-storage media.

CD-Edition: not included.

Autograph: The autograph went to Werner Reinhart, who gave it to the Rychenberg Foundation in Winterthur.

Copyright: 1920 by J. & W. Chester, Ltd.


a) Overview

33-1 1920; Chester London; 4. pp. 2°; J. W. C. 1551.

33-3 [1950]; Chester London; 4 pp. 2°; J. W. C. 1551.

b) Characteristic features

33-1 IGOR STRAWINSKY / TROIS PIÈCES POUR / CLAR INETTE SOLO / DÉDIÉES À/ WERNER REINHART/ (1919)/ EXECUTÉES POUR LA PREMIÈRE FOIS / LE 8 NOVEMBRE 1919 A LAUSANNE / PAR EDMOND ALLEGRA. / PRIX NET FR. 4.50 / PRICE 3/– NET / J. & W. CHESTER, LTD. [#] SEULS DEPOSITAIRES POUR LA FRANCE / [#] ROUART, LEROLLE & C ie , / LONDON: [#] / [#] 29 RUE D'ASTORG, PARIS. / 11, GREAT MARLBOROUGH STREET, W.-1. [#] / [#] SEULS DEPOSITAIRES POUR LA BELGIQUE / GENÈVE: / [#] / MAISON CHESTER [#] / 9-11 PLACE DE LA FUSTERIE [#] / [#] 86 RUE DE LA MONTAGNE, BRUXELLES. / DÉPOSÉ SELON LES TRAITÉS INTERNATIONAUX. / PROPRIÉTÉ POUR TOUS LES PAYS. / TOUS DROITS DE TRADUCTION DE REPRODUCTION ET / D'ARRANGEMENTS RÉSERVÉS. // (Edition [library binding] 26.7 x 33 (2° [4°] ); 3 [3] pages + 2 pages front matter [title page, empty page] + 1 page back matter [empty page]; title head as movement number in Roman numerals (without dot) >I<; dedication and author specified exclusively on the title page; note on performance 1st page of the score above movement number flush left and flush right partly in italics >Dans ces 3 Pièces respecter toutes [#] The breath marks, accents and metronom/ les respirations, les accents et [#] marks indicated in the 3 Pieces./ le mouvement metronomique. / [#] should be strictly adhered to.<; legal reservations 1st page of the score paginated p. 1 below type area flush left >Copyright 1920 by J. & W. Chester, Ltd.< flush right partly in italics >All Rights reserved. / Tous droits réservés.<; plate number >J. W. C. 1551<; without end marks) // (1920)

33-3 CHESTER / LIBRARY / IGOR STRAWINSKY / THREE PIECES / FOR / CLARINET SOLO / PRICE 3/- NET / J. & W. CHESTER L TD / [*] / PRINTED IN ENGLAND** // (Edition not sewn with enclosed page 24.1 x 30.3 ([4°]); 3 [3] pages + 2 pages front matter [ornamental front cover title full-page Chester Lyre black on white , empty page] + 1 page back matter [page with publisher’s advertisements >IGOR STRAWINSKY / Over 25 years ago the House of Chester was the first English music publishing house to / recognise the importance of, and to issue in their own edition, the compositions of this / world famous composer. / It will be noted that these works contain many of his most important contributions / to music of this century.<*** without production data]; title head >THREE PIECES / FOR CLARINET SOLO<; without dedication; with not on performance between title head und piece number French-English; author specified 1st page of the score paginated p. 1 between information on the preferred type of clarinet flush right >IGOR STRAWINSKY<; legal reservations 1st page of the score below type area flush left >Copyright 1920 by J. & W. Chester, Ltd.< flush right partly in italics >All Rights reserved. / Tous droits réservés< ; plate number >J.W.C. 1551<; without end marks) // [1950]

* The copy Bayerische Staatsbibliothek München >4 Mus.pr. 27332< bears flush right a stamp mark >TEMPORARY INCREASED / IN CATALOGUE PRICES / 2d IN 1/-<.

** Production indication below ornamental frame flush right.

*** Compositions are advertised without edition numbers and without price informations >A SELECTED LIST OF WORKS / Berceuse du Chat° Four Songs for Contralto and Three Clarinets / *° Miniature Score / *° Voice and Piano / Berceuse and Finale (L’Oiseau de Feu)°° Arranged by M. Besly. Organ / Les Cinq Doigts—Eight easy pieces° Piano Solo / Cinq Pieces Faciles (Right hand,°° easy)° Piano Four Hands / L’Histoire°° du Soldat° To be read, played, and danced. Miniature Score / *°* Vocal Score / * Suite arranged by the Composer for / [#] Violin, Clarinet, and Piano / Les Noces—Ballet with Chorus° Miniature Score / *° Vocal Score / L’Oiseau de Feu (1919)—Suite from the Ballet° Miniature Score / Piano Rag Music° Piano Solo / Pribaoutki for Medium Voice and Eight Instruments° Miniature Score / *° Voice and Piano / Pulcinella, Ballet after Pergolesi° Piano Score / Quatre Chants Russe°° for Medium Voice° Voice and Piano / Ragtime for Chamber Orchestra° Miniature Score / * arranged by the Composer° Piano Solo / Renard—A Burlesque in one act° Miniature Score / * Vocal Score / Ronde des Princesses (L’Oiseau de feu)°° Arranged by M. Besly. Organ / Song of the Haulers on the Volga, arranged for Wind Instruments. Score and Parts / Trois Histoires pour Enfants for Medium Voice° Voice and Piano / separately: Tilimbom—with orchestral accompaniment. / Trois Pieces Faciles (Left Hand Easy)° Piano Four Hands / Trois Pieces° Solo Clarinet< / > All Orchestral Materials are available on Hire from the Chester Orchestral Hire Library.< [°fill character (dots in groups of two); °° original spelling; * double quotation („)].

K Cat­a­log: Anno­tated Cat­a­log of Works and Work Edi­tions of Igor Straw­in­sky till 1971, revised version 2014 and ongoing, by Hel­mut Kirch­meyer.
© Hel­mut Kirch­meyer. All rights reserved.
https://kcatalog.org and https://kcatalog.net

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