Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Rearrangement: A Yardstick for Progress

Very soon after I began playing in a string quartet, during the early 1990s, I started making arrangements. You could say that it was my "gateway drug" to composing. A wedding request came in today for the Schubert Serenade, and when I realized that the arrangement I had in hand (the one I made back in 1995) was really not something I thought would sound very good, I decided to revise it. Rather than making my re-arrangement from the arrangement I made (below), I started from scratch and used the original vocal score.

I was 36 in 1995. I was an adult. I had a degree from Juilliard, and I had a lot of professional playing experience (at least as a flutist and a recorder player) to my credit, but clearly I had no idea how to make an arrangement for string quartet. I plowed ahead anyway, and after 16 years of playing in a string quartet and writing for string quartet, I'm kind of proud to say that now, looking at the arrangement I made today, I have made some progress.

Here's a link to the whole score and a set of parts


Eric Edberg said...

And the viola has the opening melody in the new arrangement! Definitely progress!

Anonymous said...

Eric beat me to it! I was going to say that in your mature wisdom -and as your father's daughter- you saw the errors of your youthful ways & gave the viola more prominent role.

Yesterday I came across a Youtube clip of the Debussy Reverie arranged for violin cello & oboe. I looked up the original & I thought I might attempt a transcription. This would be my first ever but it actually looks doable even for a luddite like me.


Elaine Fine said...

There's no better way to get to know a piece of music than by making a transcription of it! Go for it.