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Chorale and Variations

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Philip Sparke

Philip Sparke

General Info

Year: 2003
Duration: c. 14:00
Difficulty: IV (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Anglo Music, through De Haske
Cost: Score and Parts - $233.00   |   Score Only - $34.00


Full Score
Flute I-II
E-flat Soprano Clarinet
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
E-flat Alto Clarinet
B-flat Bass Clarinet
E-flat Alto Saxophone I-II
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
B-flat Trumpet I-II-III
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Trombone I-II-III
String Bass
Percussion I-II-III, including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Crash Cymbal
  • Glockenspiel
  • Medium Tom-tom
  • Snare Drum
  • Suspended Cymbal
  • Tambourine
  • Triangle
  • Tubular Bells
  • Wind Chimes
  • Wood Block
  • Xylophone


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

Chorale and Variations was commissioned by Thierry Patel of the Ecole Intercommunale de Gaillon-Aubevoye, France, and premiered by their concert band, with the composer conducting, on 3rd May 2003.

As the title suggests, the piece comprises a set of variations on an original chorale, which is presented at the start. Set firmly in C minor, the chorale uses the dark middle and lower sections of the band and is extended with minor variations until a pause leads to the first real variation, marked Vivo. This is a moto perpetuo, featuring repeated eighth notes which initially form the main melodic interest and then an accompaniment to a lyrical theme in the tenor register.

The second variation, Andante, opens boldly and introduces a solo clarinet, which plays a metrical variation on the chorale tune. The brass build to a full band climax and elements of the chorale bring this variation to a close.

The final variation opens with quiet, nervous energy until its main theme (based on the opening notes of the chorale) is introduced. This reaches a climax and leads to a second florid theme in the low clarinets, which is to play an important part later in the work. The chorale makes a brief appearance until the main theme reappears. This leads to a triumphant final augmented statement of the chorale theme, decorated by the florid clarinet theme in the upper woodwinds.

- Program Note from publisher


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


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