Bateman: Rhythmic Mix 4 Clarinets
Straight to Latin starts in conventional mode (although the rubato direction suggests that some liberties might be taken with the melodic line- depending on the musical imagination of the player) but soon adopts a change of tempo accompanied by a Samba (latin) rhythm. (You can learn more of this duple time Brazilian dance – and it’s rhythmic variations – online). Later this changes to a Rumba rhythm (a lively Afro-Cuban dance). Beware of dynamics, phrasing, slurs, staccatos, accidentals, ties and syncopation. Incidentally straight refers to all music that is played as written rather than that which is interpreted – as is the case with swing music with its long quaver/ short crotchet or rock music with its busy rhythms and inflections.
II – V – I is a reference to the chords built upon these steps of the scale and it is the most commonly used cadence in music. In Baroque and early Classical Music they can be found in their unadorned state but in the Romantic period onwards they are often embellished by 7ths or even 9ths and in popular song, 1930’s onwards, they may be enhanced even further by 11ths and 13ths . David Raksin’s Laura (from the film) is a fine example of II-V-I used in a number of keys with the melody most often an extended note of the chord. Here the simple melody is enhanced by key changes and the alteration between staccato and legato sections. Make sure they are clearly delineated. To follow the dance-like theme of the suite II-V-I, at this metronome marking, could be identified as a Viennese Waltz.
The Way the Cookie Crumbles. If you have played Suite 4 Clarinets and 3 Dances 4 Clarinets you will recognise this as being reminiscent of the late ragtime/early jazz period of the 1920’s. Syncopation (swing phrases) with its long quaver/short crotchet rule is present and some counterpoint (here a kind of contrived improvisation – although there is no such thing!) happens later in the piece (from bar 59). The contrasting middle section contains a legato, harmonized melody underpinned by repeated G’s on a 2 bar rhythm (half of which is a rumba-which dance, some of you may point out, did not spring to life until 1930! That notwithstanding this is a pastiche of the times where some poetic licence may be permitted. Beware swing phrasing (dots and dashes clearly marked), dynamics, legato phrasing in bars 25 to 41 and balance, (especially in the bebop style phrases from bar 59, involving mainly the 1st and 2nd clarinets).