Miscellaneous Kallisti Publications

 

The Kairn of Koridwen

A Musical Joke (arr.)

Henry Clay Work: Complete Songs and Choruses

 


A Forgotten American Masterpiece Regained

Though he died tragically young, Charles Tomlinson Griffes (1884-1920) lived long enough to establish himself as one of the earliest major American composers. The music composed during his last five years has entered the standard repertoire, and is frequently performed and recorded. Yet his longest and most ambitious work of that period has remained unpublished until now.  

The Kairn of Koridwen, an evening-long dance-drama in two scenes, contains more music than the Roman Sketches, Piano Sonata, Poem for Flute and Orchestra, and The Pleasure Dome of Kubla Khan combined. Scored for the lushly exotic combination of þute, 2 clarinets, 2 horns, celesta, harp, and piano, the piece was hailed as an astonishing breakthrough by the foremost critic of the time, Paul Rosenfeld, while others condemned it as a modernistic monstrosity. To today's listener, as to Rosenfeld, the score remains wondrously evocative of the ballet's "druidic, sublunary" theme, "abound[ing] in passages of rare loveliness" and extraordinary harmonic and instrumental coloration.

The ballet was composed in 1916 and revised the following year. When Griffes died unexpectedly three years later, the music became scattered and fragmented, and was not completely pulled together and described until the 1960s. Though a few subsequent performances were mounted using a circulating manuscript copy from the Fleisher Collection of the Free Library of Philadelphia, publishers remained daunted by the piece's length (the Kallisti edition runs to 418 pages) and unorthodox instrumentation until the desktop revolution made its publication practical at last.

The Kairn of Koridwen was edited for Kallisti Music Press by the noted composer and American music specialist Andrew Stiller, who has provided a detailed explanatory preface and complete critical report for the benefit of scholars. While comparing the confusing array of source materials, Stiller discovered a previously unrecognized revision of the ending, which we have published as an appendix to his edition.

A recording of The Kairn of Koridwen using the Kallisti edition was issued as Koch International 3-7216-2 in August, 1994.

Listen to samples from this recording.

[another work]

 

[Kallisti home page]

 

[concert catalog]

 

[instruments and ensembles]

 


Mozart: A Musical Joke

arrangement for clarinet choir by Andrew Stiller

Though this arrangement was conceived for 7 solo instruments (E-flat, 3 B-flats, alto, bass, and B-flat contrabass) it can with equal effectiveness be played by larger forces, up to and including the full clarinet resources of the concert band. See catalog entry for availability of extra parts.

As clarinet-choir repertoire goes, this arrangement is by no means easy~~but it certainly is fun. There is important material in every part, with lots of jokes to go around. The two horn parts in Mozart's original scoring are given mostly to the alto and bass clarinets, which (with appropriate dynamics) only adds to the humor of, for example, the deliberate wrong notes in the second movement. Some passages (the slow movement cadenza, the horn trills in the last movent) must be heard to be believed.

[another work]

 

[Kallisti home page]

 

[educational catalog]

[Stiller home page]

 


Henry Clay Work: Complete Songs and Choruses

compiled and edited by Benjamin Robert Tubb

This is the first complete published collection of all the songs of Henry Clay Work ("Marching Through Georgia," "Grandfather's Clock"), who lived from 1832 to 1884. Highly esteemed in his day, Work has been largely forgotten because most of his songs were on topical subjects (including the Civil War, emancipation, Reconstruction, westward expansion, the Gilded Age, Temperance, Spiritualism, and the plight of the urban poor before the social safety net) that have become purely historical. Nevertheless he was a highly accomplished and meticulous songwriter, creator of stirring melodies and of lyrics that are often masterpieces of compact rhetoric. To listen to these songs today is to hear American history brought vividly to life.

Click here to visit the editor's extensive Henry Clay Work site, featuring complete lyrics and MIDI recordings of every song.

[another publication]

 

[Kallisti home page]

 

[concert catalog]

[educational catalog]