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 Reconstructions of Brahms' Serenade No.1
Author: Simon Aldrich 
Date:   2007-05-19 00:50

Hello all

Brahms' Serenade No. 1 in D major Op. 11 was composed over several years and in as many as four different guises.
It started life as a three or four movement work for wind and string octet.
The first full version, with six movements, was for nonet (fl, 2 cls, bsn, hn, vln, vla, vcl, bass).
Clara Schumann did not approve of the piece in its nonet formation and it is believed Brahms destroyed the manuscript (as was his wont when Clara didn't approve of a piece).
The following year Brahms expanded the instrumentation to a small orchestra and the next year to a full orchestra, the form in which the work is known and usually performed.

Two people, Alan Boustead and Jorge Rotter, have arranged hypothetical reconstructions of the Serenade in its original nonet instrumentation.
(A third person, Chris Nex, has arranged the Serenade for woodwind quintet, string quartet and bass. This version is published and therefore available.)
Printed parts for the Boustead and Rotter are as yet only available on rental. Some believe this has hampered the adoption of the Serenade into the mainstream chamber repertoire.
I heard a broadcast of the Chicago Chamber Musicians playing the nonet version of the Serenade (it was not announced by which arranger) and it works wonderfully for nonet. Some might say it is more beautiful as a nonet than as an orchestral piece.

Assuming these two arrangements can actually be rented, does anyone know the Boustead and Rotter reconstructions well enough to offer an opinion regarding which is better?
Does anyone know if both these reconstructions are available and if so, are they still rental-only (not for sale)?
If not, is there ANY way to get my hands on either of these reconstructions?

Thank-you in advance,
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Simon Aldrich simonaldrich@videotron.ca

Clarinet Faculty - McGill University
Principal Clarinet - Orchestre Metropolitain de Montreal
Principal Clarinet - Orchestre de l'Opera de Montreal
Clarinet - Nouvel Ensemble Moderne
Buffet-Crampon Artist/Clinician

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 Re: Reconstructions of Brahms' Serenade No.1
Author: Mark Charette 2017
Date:   2007-05-19 00:58

Study parts for the Rotter edition are available for 13.80 Euros from the publisher:
http://www.editiongravis.de/Preisliste/1bis100/1bis100.html, No. 85.

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 Re: Reconstructions of Brahms' Serenade No.1
Author: Tony Pay 2017
Date:   2007-05-19 01:30

I only played the Boustead, which I thought very good.

"Score and parts hire only from Weinberger +4420 7580 2827
US hire agent Boosey and Hawkes NY (212) 358 5300"

...AFAIK.

Tony

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 Re: Reconstructions of Brahms' Serenade No.1
Author: Jack Kissinger 
Date:   2007-05-19 01:51

FWIW, given the price, I suspect "studienpart." is short for studienpartitur - a study score rather than study parts.

Best regards,
jnk

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 Re: Reconstructions of Brahms' Serenade No.1
Author: sherman 
Date:   2007-05-19 01:52

Simon:
I conducted the serenade with 12 players at the Sadye Bronfman Chamber Orchestra of which I was the conductor in 1977. We took the full orchestra set of parts and carefully scaled them down and it went very well. How different can any arrangement of this superb work sound, using its original parts.. It is a reasonable way.

I would have loved to do the other serenade, which seems a more sophisticated work, in which I have only played.

Sherman Friedland




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 Re: Reconstructions of Brahms' Serenade No.1
Author: bahamutofskycon 
Date:   2007-05-19 02:08

Last semester the SU Kammermusik players performed the Rotter version (myself on 1st cl). I thought it was very good - I'm a huge fan of Brahms' music so I may be biased.

However, I would say that there are a number of misprints in the score and parts (measure numbers, omitted notes, incorrect notes, etc). The director had to rent it - it is my understanding that it is only available as a rental at the moment.

Sorry, no more specific info on it - I just showed up and played :) .

Steve Ballas

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 Re: Reconstructions of Brahms' Serenade No.1
Author: Tony Pay 2017
Date:   2007-05-19 09:07

Sherman Friedland wrote, in part:

>> We took the full orchestra set of parts and carefully scaled them down and it went very well. How different can any arrangement of this superb work sound, using its original parts.. It is a reasonable way.>>

For what it's worth, Alan Boustead writes of his own version:

"To reduce all the details of the existing orchestral score to a nonet would result in an unacceptable, uncharacteristic work in which all nine musicians would play almost entirely without rests. Rather, the principle of reconstruction has been to discover textures that would have given rise to Brahms orchestrating in the way he did. Many details of the orchestral version have been discarded as being unquestionably added during recasting; however, at many other points the reconstruction is almost certainly exact. The opening of the first movement, and also its coda can hardly be disputed; the minuet movement is virtually unaltered. Brahms's known preference for the 'natural' valveless horn makes it possible to discover the original part with near certainty. The almost insignificant second violin part in the orchestral version can often be discounted; where it is of importance it seems not unlikely that its music was originally for the viola: the subsequent 'moving-up' of parts, giving more independence to the double-bass, creates a sound very characteristic of the composer, not dissimilar to that of the second Serenade (where the viola is the leading string instrument)."

Tony

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 Re: Reconstructions of Brahms' Serenade No.1
Author: sherman 
Date:   2007-05-19 21:17

In the second serenade, the viola is not the "leading" string instrument. It is hardly discernible since the woodwinds play the principal, or leading parts.















Sherman




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 Re: Reconstructions of Brahms' Serenade No.1
Author: bahamutofskycon 
Date:   2007-05-20 01:52

The violas are the "leading" string instrument in the sense that there are no violins in the Second Serenade. Therefore the the violas become the highest voice in the string section. However, "leading" may be a misleading term.

Steve Ballas

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 Re: Reconstructions of Brahms' Serenade No.1
Author: Simon Aldrich 
Date:   2007-05-20 03:55

Thanks to everyone who responded (Steve, Sherman, Tony, Mark and Jack).

Tony - I plan to call B&H New York on Monday. The Boustead doesn't show up through any of their sites' search engines.

Sherman - What was the orchestration of your arrangement for 12 players? An obvious next question - does anyone in the Montreal area still have that arrangement ?

Thanks,
Simon

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 Re: Reconstructions of Brahms' Serenade No.1
Author: sherman 
Date:   2007-05-20 19:32

Simon:
I don't remember the exact instrumentation of the performance, but do remember the concert upon which it was performed because Robert Bloom was also conducting the C Minor Mozart Serenade for winds, (a long story).
And I also conducted the work for full orchestra with the Concordia Orchstra the same year.
Considering the work was almost always a "work in progress", as Brahms was constantly fighting the battle of the shadow of the "Giant behind me", (Beethoven) and that it is very uneven, the first 3 movements taking a half-hour, the last three much less, (even though we clarinetists love the piece, specifically the two minuets), it is my feeling that any honest representation of the piece is certainly to be respected.
Considering what Stravinsky did to his own arrangement of L'Histoire du Soldat", I would suggest the following: Leave out the long, and exquisite slow movement(15 minutes), as it overbalances the piece. What you have left is much more of a Serenade, still 5 movements and quite interesting, lighter fare, if you will. Brahms himself uses this early material and devices in many subsequent works
Somehow searching for an arrangement seems needless. (The Schoenberg arrangement of the Brahms is one thing.)
Your entry brought back Montreal CBC memories, among which is the Concerto for Harpsichord , by Manuel DeFalla, with Violin,Oboe,Flute, clarinet and cello acompanying the harpsichord. Great piece. (I have the parts for that)

Good luck and happy to hear about all the great work you are doing.

Sherman Friedland




Post Edited (2007-05-20 19:41)

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