This site is home to Alea Publishing & Recording, specializing in music for the bass clarinet.
We offer a growing catalog of creative, artistic transcriptions and new works for bass clarinet solo & ensemble.
About the Music
We thank Dr. Cook for providing this introduction to his important new collection of Bach Chorales transcribed for clarinet quartet:
Bach’s numerous chorales and the many pieces of music that draw on them for their inspiration have long occupied an essential space in Western classical music studies for both their analytical and musicological significance. It is virtually impossible to escape an undergraduate music theory sequence without studying one of Bach’s chorales for purposes of counterpoint, voice leading or cadential structure, while a discussion of the Baroque era would seem lacking without mention of Bach’s plethora of cantatas. Beyond this, they are excellent study material for ensembles: a truly superb performance of these chorales requires excellence in blend, balance, intonation, and phrasing. This collection is intended to make this excellent music available to clarinet quartets seeking to improve these essential ensemble skills and play wonderful music together.
This collection features four chorales in each of the major and minor keys in addition to four longer chorales at the end of the collection, drawn from the music of Johann Sebastian Bach and transcribed for a quartet of three B-flat clarinets and one bass clarinet. A low C bass is desirable for some chorales, but by no means essential: necessary octave displacements are indicated in parentheses. The final four chorales are especially suitable for concert performance due to their longer duration. In selecting chorales for inclusion in this collection, I sought to include as much variety in meter, form and texture as possible.
Within each key, chorales are organized by relative difficulty, with the simpler chorales at the beginning of each section and becoming progressively more complicated. I primarily considered harmonic complexity, texture, technical demands, and contrapuntal intricacy when determining the difficulty of each chorale, but my ordering is by no means definitive.
Each chorale is preceded by information about said chorale including the composer of the chorale melody, the chorale text, the text author and appearances of the chorale in Bach’s music, including the popular collections of chorales by Albert Riemenschneider, Johann Ludwig Dietel and publisher Breitkopf & Härtel. Each chorale is printed in score format to facilitate ease of study. The chorale text is printed below the melody line to aid in interpreting the music. Numerous translations of the original German text are available, including those found at the Bach Cantatas Website.
Solid slurs are authentic to Bach’s original scores, while dashed slurs are my suggestions based on studying Bach’s articulation patterns in his works for chorus and orchestra. When possible, chorales are in the same key as either Bach’s original compositions or one of the previously mentioned chorale collections. Dynamics and phrasing markings are purposefully omitted to remain authentic to Bach’s original score and to provide a blank slate for performers as an exercise in interpretation.
Numerous auxiliary parts are available: e-flat clarinet, alto clarinet, basset horn, contralto clarinet, and contrabass clarinet. These parts can be used to create a more diverse clarinet quartet and address issues unique to these auxiliary clarinets in an ensemble setting, or expand these clarinet quartet transcriptions into versions for full clarinet choir.
Performance score: 143 pages, spiral bound. Auxiliary parts: 69 pages each, spiral bound. Purchase of this PDF edition includes access to score and all auxiliary parts.
We thank Lori Ardovino for her review of this publication in the Fall 2023 issue of the National Association of College Wind and Percussion Instructors journal! In part, the review stated:
"This compilation is an excellent collection that would be useful for any high school or college music program. They are beneficial to developing those skills that will result in a well-rounded musician. I commend Dr. Cook for taking on the important task of providing clarinet ensembles the beauty of J.S. Bach's chorale writing."
Purchasing this item will give you access to download the music as a PDF. If you would prefer to purchase a hard copy, please click here.
About the Arranger
Critically praised for “brilliant and stunning” performances, “terrific virtuosic playing,” and “a fine sense of drama,” David Cook is Assistant Professor of Clarinet and Chair of Instrumental Performance Studies at Millikin University, Principal Clarinet of the Millikin-Decatur Symphony Orchestra, and clarinetist for the Appian Duo (with Emily Grabinski, piano) and the Greyline Duo (with Alexandra Rodriguez, flute). Previously a member of the Wichita Symphony Orchestra, the Lawton Philharmonic Orchestra, the Lieurance Woodwind Quintet, and the wind quintet Fiati Five, David has also performed with the Chicago Sinfonietta, Illinois Symphony Orchestra, Sinfonia da Camera, Northbrook Symphony, Champaign-Urbana Symphony Orchestra, Heartland Festival Orchestra, Oklahoma City Philharmonic, Norman Philharmonic, and the Texas Music Festival Orchestra. As a chamber musician, David has performed at Chamber Music Campania and with the Brightmusic Chamber Ensemble and the From the Edge Chamber Music Series. An advocate for contemporary music, David has commissioned and premiered new works from composers such as David Maslanka, Pierre Jalbert, David Biedenbender, Whitney E. George, Cody W. Forrest, Cody Criswell, Garrett Gillingham, and Andy Francis.
David has been recognized in numerous competitions including The American Prize for Instrumental Performance, the American Virtuoso International Music Competition, the Ernst Bacon Memorial Award for the Performance of American Music, the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Young Artist Competition, the Oklahoma Community Orchestra Young Artist Competition, and the White Lake Chamber Music Festival Solo Competition. Past appearances include the International Clarinet Association’s ClarinetFest®, the College Music Society National Conference, the National Association of College Wind and Percussion Instructors Conference, the American Single Reed Summit, the Amicitia Clarinet Extravaganza, the Clarinet Colloquium at Texas A&M University-Commerce, the KNOB New Music Festival, and recitals across the United States and abroad. His book Clarinet Conditioning: Warm-Ups and Perspectives, featuring contributions from clarinetists including members of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, and “The President’s Own” United States Marine Band, is published by Conway Publications and was lauded as “insightful, thorough, comprehensive” and “an incredibly valuable resource for clarinetists.” His research appears in The Clarinet, the NACWPI Journal, and The Instrumentalist.
At Millikin University, David teaches applied clarinet, chamber music, clarinet pedagogy, and clarinet methods. He was previously Instructor of Clarinet at Wichita State University (2016–2018) and Instructor of Music Theory at the University of Oklahoma (2017–2018). He is also a member of the clarinet faculty at Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp, a Programming Coordinator for the American Single Reed Summit, and previously taught as Clarinet Mentor for the Detroit Symphony Civic Orchestra and Central Michigan University’s Summer Music Camp.
David holds Bachelor of Music and Bachelor of Music Education degrees from Central Michigan University, Master of Music degrees in clarinet performance and chamber music from the University of Michigan, and the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in clarinet performance and the Master of Music degree in music theory from the University of Oklahoma. His principal teachers include Suzanne Tirk, Chad Burrow, Theodore Oien, and Kennen White. David is a Buffet Crampon USA Performing Artist and a member of the Silverstein Works PRO Team, performing exclusively on Buffet Crampon clarinets and Silverstein Works ligatures.
Duo Alea, the father-daughter duo of Michael and Kimberly Davenport, began performing music for bass clarinet and piano in 1996. As performers searching for new repertoire and teachers working with students eager to develop as performers, it quickly became clear that there was a need for more repertoire featuring the bass clarinet. Filling this need became the mission of Alea Publishing & Recording.
Since our first publication in 1997, the Alea catalog has now grown to include over 300 titles. We pride ourselves on the accuracy and quality of our sheet music, as well as our ability to ship directly to customers around the world.
We are proud of the diversity of our catalog in terms of the inclusion of works by composers and arrangers from around the world. We are interested in continuing to expand this diversity, representing musical ideas from around the world.
Following Michael's passing in 2019, Kim has taken over solo management of Alea Publishing. In 2020, Alea established the Dolphy Prize, an annual composition award for new works for bass clarinet by black composers.
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