New, forthcoming, noteworthy, or just plain fun stuff, with links to the nice folks who create it.
SPECIAL DISCOUNT ENDS JANUARY 31!
Presto Sheet Music is offering 25% off the entire Boosey & Hawkes catalogue, including three of Clarke’s essential titles. Actually we’re pretty tickled by Presto’s feature on recent Boosey best-sellers, which shows Clarke smack-dab in the middle of Maxwell Davies, Shostakovich, Britten, Prokofiev, and Finzi—especially sweet, since she knew at least three of them, and thought that at least one of those three was quite charming, even if she hated his music.
SALE ENDS FEBRUARY 2!
Through midnight on February 2, Sheet Music Plus is offering 20% off the entire G. Schirmer catalogue, including Clarke’s Passacaglia, in the original version for viola, and in Clarke’s own arrangement for cello. The Schirmer edition is the only one that reproduces Clarke’s fingerings. She seriously didn’t want to do this, pleading her unusually long arms and large hands, but Schirmer insisted, so you make the call—and get 20% off while you’re at it.
“A captivating treasure-trove of unexpected insights….A must for all who love the viola!”—James F. Dunham, Rice University, Shepherd School of Music
“A must-have for every viola student and teacher….What a gift it is to the viola community to have this wonderful research and analysis all in one place!” —Carol Rodland, The Juilliard School
Bynog’s crackerjack chapter on Clarke’s Sonata, based on a meticulous survey of all the known primary sources, includes the first publication of Pomposo, an albumblatt Clarke composed in her ninetieth year. Available in cloth, paper, Apple Books, or Kindle.
“Lyrical beauty, burning brio and an awesome degree of ensemble spirit, especially clear in fast tempos….A splendid package in all.”—Geoff Brown, Classical Music (a service of BBC Music Magazine, December 23, 2020)
“[Clarke’s] Palestrina-influenced Ave Maria is a joy (and listen to the fine tuning of the choir here)….A simply lovely disc.”—Colin Clarke, Classical Explorer (November 11, 2020)
A recent Gramophone Podcast features Anna Lapwood talking about her double-debut album with the Choirs of Pembroke College, Cambridge, and allows you to preview the entire disc. Program-details are here, and our comparison with previous recordings of Ave Maria is here. You can order here, here, or here.
This thrilling disc, from the Paris-based independent label Skarbo, crept in under the radar, at least in Anglophone markets, and we hasten to give you the essential links—here, here, here, and here—with the hearty recommendation that you snap it up at once and ask questions later. Clarke’s Two Movements for String Quartet were never more riveting, and as for the Adagio, which you can download here?—absolument passionant! Here’s our considered impression, along with some vital background information.
BOOKING NOW FOR 2021-22
Following up on their wonderful new recording (see the previous entry), Quatuor Sine Qua Non plans on barnstorming Clarke’s Two Movements for String Quartet through what we hope will be the music-world’s first post-COVID season, as a major component of their characteristically attractive and wildly imaginative programming. The season brochure is here. Inquiries are welcome, by e-mail, via the quartet’s website or Facebook page, or by coup de téléphone at +336 20 90 87 36, where the person in charge assures us «qu’elle parle basiquement anglais!»—while we, with our accent barbare d’Alabama, can testify that her French is immaculate.
NOW AVAILABLE WORLDWIDE
“Beautifully recorded…. Ruman and Hučková’s playing is engaging and casts a fascinating spell. I’ll be returning to it many times.”—Stephen Greenbank, MusicWeb International
This lovely all-Clarke recital is now available outside the E.U. through Europadisc. Consider yourselves lucky: we had to get our Polish friend’s sister-in-law in Krakow to order it from Pavlik Records in Slovakia, so she could give it to her husband the next time he flew to New York, so he could give it to his sister in Greenpoint, so she could hand-deliver it to us in Brooklyn. Trust us: it was worth all the trouble that now you won’t have to go to.
“The finest, weightiest item here is the Clarke Sonata, of which there are over 20 competing accounts currently available. This newcomer is as strong as any of their main rivals, with Zemtsov’s warmly expressive playing matched by Fedorova’s nuanced accompaniment. Their playing compels attention throughout. What tips the balance is Channel Classics’ demonstration-quality sound.”—Guy Rickards, Gramophone (Awards 2020)
The first publication of Clarke’s long-lost, recently-discovered third duet for viola (or violin) and cello—a heart-melting setting of the tune best known as “Londonderry Air.” For a preview of the piece’s fascinating history and back-story click here.
To order, and to see a sample of the music, click here.
The Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music features five works by Clarke in its 2020-2023 grade exams. For viola: I’ll Bid My Heart Be Still (grade 5); Lullaby (grade 6); and Morpheus (grade 8). For cello: I’ll Bid My Heart Be Still (grade 7); and Passacaglia on an Old English Tune (grade 8).
Performance-materials and complete information about syllabuses are available here.
REBECCA CLARKE GEAR
Arty Margit’s take on the famous portrait by Louis Langfier (c. 1923), reproduced in a host of useful and amusing merchandise. For prints of the graphic, click here. For framed prints, clothing, accessories, totes and carry-alls, cases and skins for your devices, stationery, housewares, mugs, regalia, and (God help us) COVID-worthy face-masks, click here.
Graphic: Copyright © Margit van der Zwan. Reproduced by permission.
POÈTE, PRENDS TA TASSE!
Try your favorite warm beverage in this snazzy mug from Alto Clef Gifts, emblazoned with the opening salvo of Clarke’s Viola Sonata. Comes in two sizes: 11 ounces and 15 ounces.
Clarke was an avid tea-drinker. Her brew of choice was Jacksons of Piccadilly in the big blue tin, an ambrosial concoction of which only a dim simulacrum survives today. We recommend these instead, or, in a pinch, this.