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Concerto for Clarinet and Wind Ensemble (Ticheli)

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Frank Ticheli

Frank Ticheli

General Info

Year: 2010
Duration: c. 21:25
Difficulty: VI (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Manhattan Beach Music
Cost: Score and Parts - $395.00   |   Score Only - $95.00


1. Rhapsody for George – 6:40
2. Song for Aaron – 6:50
3. Riffs for Lenny – 7:00


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

  • Bass Drum
  • Bongos
  • Brake Drum
  • Flexitones
  • Glockenspiel
  • Marimba
  • Pedal Bass Drum
  • Ratchet
  • Ride Cymbal
  • Slapstick
  • Snare Drum
  • Suspended Cymbal (2)
  • Tambourine
  • Triangle
  • Vibraphone
  • Vibra-slap
  • Wood Block
  • Xylophone


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

Frank Ticheli’s Concerto for Clarinet takes inspiration from Aaron Copland, Leonard Bernstein and George Gershwin. It is demanding for the band and wildly demanding for the soloist. The first and third movements feature endlessly energetic rhythms and shifting textures with no melodies (you won’t miss them at all). The second movement is a beautiful hymn, tranquil and evocative.

- Program Note by David Branter for the Pacific Symphonic Wind Ensemble

I had been hoping to compose a clarinet concerto for years, and so I was delighted when a commission offer came my way from Swedish-American clarinetist Hakan Rosengren. His fiery virtuosity, combined with his poignantly beautiful sound, had a direct influence on my creative decisions throughout the work.

The concerto's three movements are composed as tributes to three 20th-century American icons: George Gershwin, Aaron Copland, and Leonard Bernstein.

The first movement, Rhapsody for George,(after a wink to the famous clarinet solo – with thanks to the Gershwin estate for approving this) is built largely from chromatic, jazzy, relentless flurries of 16th notes, volleyed back and forth between the soloist and the ensemble. This high-speed game is intensified by a walking bass line, jazzy syncopations, and heavy backbeats that come and go at will.

The second movement, Song for Aaron, evokes the gentle, open-aired quality sometimes heard in Copland's slow movements. If the listener notices a song-like quality here, it may be because it was originally composed for voice (An American Dream, for soprano and orchestra, mv't. 6). Thus, this movement is an adaptation of my earlier work, but altered significantly to suit the unique lyrical traits of the clarinet.

While composing the final movement, Riffs for Lenny, I imagined Bernstein perched on a pulpit (a podium?), passionately preaching about Music as a powerful and necessary force for humanity. In a sense, I pay tribute to his lifelong enthusiasm, unleashed through his conducting, composing, performing, teaching, and in countless other ways. Like the opening movement, Riffs for Lenny is somewhat jazzy, but now in a more, sultry, gospel-like manner. It swoons, sighs, seduces, and then suddenly takes off in double-time, dancing all the way.

- Program Note by composer


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


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Works for Winds by This Composer

Adaptable Music

All Wind Works


  • Frank Ticheli website Accessed 6 July 2020
  • Ticheli, F. (2011). Concerto for Clarinet and Wind Ensemble [score]. Manhattan Beach Music: Brooklyn, N.Y.