Wind Music


Strauss Sonatina and Wind Symphony

Key Features of New Editions

1. Simplification of transpositions

Strauss uses Horns in Mi and La (not even Mib) and a Bass Clarinet in La written in Bass Clef. 

The best  21st century Bass Clarinets command five figure sums, Few players could afford more than the Bb even if the A model were still available. I have therefore used a Bb throughout and adopted today’s standard procedure of writing in the treble clef but sounding an octave lower than written.

Horns in Mi etc are a hangover from the days of valveless horns, Horns in F are now the standard and the instrument most will use, so parts for horns in F are provided.  There was also a tradition in Strauss day of horn transpositions moving a fifth down in treble clef and a 4th up in the bass clef, I have changed this to today’s practice of a fifth  down irrespective of clef

2. Alternative instruments.

Two instruments that are less common than the rest are the C clarinet and the basset horn. Both have a very distinctive sound and as they are increasingly more available, well worth locating. However if they can not be found there are possible alternatives rather than having to abandon a performance. 

The Eb alto clarinet is a very close relative to the modern basset horn and is often more available  I doubt whether its substitution will be easily discerned by the listener so I have provided such a part.

Finding an alternative for the C clarinet is  more of a problem.  Although only a tone separates each of the three clarinets in A, Bb, C, each has its own distinctive sound the C being by far the brightest   Its  presence changes the character of the clarinet choir at the heart of these works, especially when heading towards the top of its register in the “super altissimo range, once reaching Bb  5 leger lines above the treble staff. Strauss doesn’t need to use it to balance the one or two horns in the more mellow andante of the sonatina but it is just what is needed when four horns  come in to play in the rest of the works.

The obvious choice is to transpose using a Bb clarinet. I know it to  work and only once does this take the instrument to a top C but there is a fair bit of work as far as top A.  I have provided such a part, I suspect an exhausting but a practical solution

A second choice would be to use the little piccolo Eb clarinet. The part is comfortably  within the register of the instrument perhaps it might prove  a little shrill when compared with the C but if the C is not available I think it an experiment well worth  trying. I would be interested in feedback

I have therefore provided two alternative parts, for Bb and Eb clarinets

Aids to rehearsal

Matching bar numbers between score and parts are provided at the start of every line.  A substantial number of Rehearsal letters are also provided


With 16 individual players it is inevitable  that there will be periodic rests, sometimes lengthy,  There are a generous number of cues to help players follow the music.  As far as possible rests and cues are positioned to allow comfortable page turns

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