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 the arranger, Dr. Sarah Watts, for sharing the following program note:
The 6 Sorrow Songs, Opus. 57 was composed by the British composer Samuel Coleridge-Taylor in 1906, and dedicated to his wife, Jessie Walmisley, whom he met at the Royal College of Music during their student years. The poetry is by Christina Rossetti (1830-1994).
I first heard these songs during covid lockdown when one of my undergraduate vocal students at the University of Sheffield where I am Director of Performance studied them for her final recital. As we came out of lockdown and were allowed back on campus for live recital classes it became a weekly joy to work in person with all of my final year recital class again. The Sorrow Songs really captured something deep and meaningful for me and the melodies stayed with me for months after the May 2021 final recitals were over.
I have chosen to arrange these songs for bass clarinet and piano and made the decision to deviate away from the original keys in order to find the best fit for the bass clarinet. As they can be sung by high or low voice, I have also explored different octaves to exploit the range of the bass clarinet.
I dedicate this transcription to my students and especially my undergraduate year 3 recital class of 2020/21.
Piano score: 25 pages. Bass clarinet part: 8 pages. Extended-range instrument required. Engraving by Skyler Hedblom.
Listen to the world-premiere performance of four of the six songs, performed by Sarah Watts and Kim Davenport at the International Clarinet Association's 2023 Low Clarinet Festival:
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
Sarah Watts studied clarinet at the Royal Academy of Music with Angela Malsbury and Victoria Soames Samek (bass clarinet). Sarah then decided to specialise in bass clarinet and continued her studies at the Rotterdam Conservatorium bass clarinet with Henri Bok, funded by the Countess of Munster Musical Trust and a Leverhulme Trust Studentship. Sarah was awarded the Exxon prize for the best classical music student in Rotterdam.
Successes include: Winner, UK Howarth Clarinet Competition 2000; Winner, Hawkes Clarinet Prize (RAM) 2001; Winner, Sir Arthur Bliss Chamber Music Prize (RAM) 2000; Winner of wind section and Faber Prize, UK Performing Australian Music competition, 2001 (her clarinet and bass clarinet recital was broadcast on ABC radio); Finalist, Wind section, Royal Overseas League Competition 2000.
Sarah specialises on the bass clarinet and has gained an international reputation as an artist, teacher and researcher on the instrument. She has performed solo repertoire across the UK, Ireland, Asia, Europe and the Americas and has attracted composers including Sir Harrison Birtwistle, Piers Hellawell and William Sweeney to write works for her. In January 2003, Sarah performed a solo bass clarinet recital in London’s Purcell Room as part of the Park Lane Group Young Artist Series.
Sarah is Director of Performance at the University of Sheffield, where she also teaches clarinet and bass clarinet. Sarah hosts bass clarinet and clarinet courses on the Isle of Raasay in Scotland and has run and taught on many wind chamber music courses in the UK and France. Sarah has given workshops on bass clarinet technique at many establishments around the world and was bass clarinet tutor at RNCM from 2012 - 2022.
Sarah performs with Hard Rain SoloistEnsemble, rarescale and SCAW. Shehas completed a PhD in bass clarinet multiphonic analysis at Keele University and has published ‘Spectral Immersions; A Comprehensive Guide to the Theory and Practice of Bass Clarinet Multiphonics’ via Metropolis publishers.
Sarah is an Henri Selmer Paris artist, a Vandoren UK artist and a Silverstein Ligature artist.
In 2016, she was made an Associate of the Royal Academy of Music (ARAM), London.
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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