Project Description

Première Rhapsodie
Claude Debussy: Première Rhapsodie pour clarinette et piano | Première Rhapsodie pour orchestre avec clarinette principale
Luís CarvalhoPremière Rhapsodie pour clarinette principale et petite orchestre

for ensemble or small orchestra with solo clarinet:
*1*1 1ª *1 – 1*100 – harp – 1perc. – strings ( or up to max.
ª clarinet as soloist

  • composition dates (Debussy):
    • original version for clarinet and piano: 1909-10
    • version for clarinet and orchestra: 1911
  • reduction/(re)orchestration for clarinet and ensemble (Luís Carvalho):
    • 2009-10 / rev. & corr. 2020-21
  • duration: ca. 9 min.
  • detailed orchestration:
    Flute (+ Piccolo) / Oboe (+ English-horn) / Bassoon (+ Contrabassoon) / Horn /
    Trumpet (+ Flugelhorn) / Percussion (1 player): vibraphone; glockenspiel; crotales; large suspended cymbal; triangle; snare-drum / harp (or piano) / strings (string quintet or up to maximum: 6 vl.I/ 6 vl.II/ 4 vla./ 4 vlc./ 2db.)
  • premiere: [not yet premiered]

Conceived à propos the oeuvres’ centennial year (albeit not aiming at any specific commemoration), this new (re)orchestration of Première Rhapsodie by Debussy aims to offer an alternative to both the traditional [and original] version for clarinet & piano as well as the clarinet & orchestra version by Debussy himself. The perspective here is one of pragmatism regarding the instrumental forces required – the minimum number of players needed for the accompanying ensemble counts at 12, plus the solo clarinet. This re-instrumentation is not, however, a mere “orchestral reduction” of Debussy’s own orchestral version, for, while trying to maintain the “impressionistic” sonorities of its original, it looks for a more “refined”, “lighter”, even a more “modern” approach, in the likes of an aesthetic restyling. Studying in detail, but also critically both versions by the composer, I searched for new colors and sound textures, arriving at instrumental combinations that owe as much to Debussy (harp), as to the 21st century (flugelhorn, vibraphone with bow, etc.). Première Rhapsodie is one of the most famous works in the Clarinet repertoire of all time. As a clarinet player myself, it was a bold challenge, but equally a gratifying opportunity to propose a new version of this essential milestone in the history of the instrument.

buy sheet music/materials:
contact the composer here.

[available soon]

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.