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.
A Conversation for Two Musicians (2019) is a three-movement work for bassoon and oboe doubling english horn, by composer Christian Mechem, a recent graduate of Franklin and Marshall College. In addition to the recording below, we share some excerpts from the composer's program note:
Two folk musicians of unknown origins meet in a foggy clearing, at dusk. They initiate a conversation, not with words but through the sounds of their instruments. The subject is of the physical and emotional poverty that both musicians have experienced throughout their lives.
The first musician (bassoon) performs Panelki. This is a piece that describes the first musician’s sense of complacency and immense tranquility in life. After years of struggle, the musician is finally able to rest and reflect on their past. The second musician (oboe) performs Favela. This piece describes the second musician’s anger, feelings of despair, frustration, and exhaustion. Throughout their life, the second musician has never been able to escape war, famine, and hardship.
Both musicians perform 貧, together. This piece describes the blending of these two opposing ideologies: a conversation, an argument, and finally a resolve. My goal in this piece is, for anyone who will listen, to contemplate the role that poverty plays in their lives. Whether in their own, or in the lives of others. There will always be two characters, such as these, within each of us, that either want to angrily revolt or peacefully submit in the wake of life’s hardships. What I want to express is that both sides of the spectrum can meet, fuse, and grow together. That this is a universal experience, that ignores no one.
Original cover artwork by Sara Hoover.
Duo Alea began performing music for bass clarinet and piano in 1996. As both 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 Bach Suites, the Alea catalog now includes over 250 titles. As performing musicians ourselves, 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.
In June 2020, we announced the creation of the Dolphy Prize for new works for bass clarinet by Black composers.
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