It is with great joy—and in a state of dazed half-belief—that I announce the following:
All of Rebecca Clarke’s remaining vocal music—the early songs that she wrote as an uninstructed amateur, her first experiments as a fledgling professional, her fabulous duets—will be published by ClarNan Editions, an imprint of Classical Vocal Reprints, in a series of volumes co-edited with Nicholas Phan, the brilliant Grammy-nominated tenor who has done so much for Clarke’s music in the concert-hall.
All of Clarke’s remaining music with strings—including the ensemble-version of Chinese Puzzle that she made for the Aeolian Players, and the violin teaching-pieces she wrote for one of her nieces—will be published by Sleepy Puppy Press, along with a volume for viola comprising Clarke’s arrangements of pieces by other composers, and her cadenza for the “Handel”/Casadesus concerto, co-edited by Caroline Castleton, whose doctoral work at the University of Maryland promises to transform our understanding of Clarke as a performer.
If current projections hold, this means that all of Clarke’s compositions known to exist in a completed state—excluding only sketches, drafts, and exercises—will have been published by the end of 2023. Thus, Clarke will join the likes of Bach, Beethoven, Brahms, Berlioz, and Palestrina in having virtually every note she ever wrote put before the public, but with one vital distinction: Clarke’s de-facto Complete Works Edition will exist, not as a monumental set that only large reference collections can afford to acquire, but as a series of practical publications available through normal commercial channels to the widest possible range of musicians, students, and music-lovers.
Once these projects are completed, along with a giant piece of research that I am determined to finish on the same schedule, I will be donating Clarke’s manuscripts and papers, and those of her husband, the great pianist James Friskin, “to the United States of America for the benefit of the American people and inclusion in the Library of Congress“—a phrase in the deed of gift that overwhelms me every time I think of it—where they will form a named collection, The Rebecca Clarke and James Friskin Papers, to which the aforementioned research project will serve as a key.
In 1982, Clarke’s heirs assigned her rights to me with the goal of “promoting such rights as a memorial,” and in the intervening forty-one years much ink has been spilled as to whether or not I have done so. Like Clarke, I am content to let my work speak for itself.