The source is an orchestral piece by the French composer Charles Gounod (1818-93), famous for his opera "Faust", and “Ave Maria”, an adaptation of the first prelude from J.S. Bach's “Well-Tempered Klavier”.
Gounod was impressed by religious music during his school days in Rome and considered the priesthood. But, he couldn't avoid his secular interests, and accumulated works in two separate, contradictory genres representing this internal conflict: ecumenical music and romantic opera. By this compositional quirk he wrote only a few, perhaps less than ten mainstream orchestral pieces that are not so often performed, but they are extremely bright reflections of his persona. This particular work (1873) is also comical, revealing yet another side of the composer.
This arrangement for Clarinet Sextet was created for a recording by the Tokyo Clarinet Ensemble (1981). In 1987 its score appeared in “Clarinet & Saxophone”, a supplemental volume of the monthly magazine “Band Journal”, and was rerecorded by Tokyo Clarinet Ensemble for the CD “The Brilliant Clarinet Ensemble III” (Kojima Recording). Since it was hard to find the original orchestral score to start with, there was no choice but to transcribe Gounod from old recordings. Recently, though, I obtained an authentic score and greatly revised this publication.
|Eb Cl.||3 Bb Cl||Alto Cl.||Bass Cl.|