2007 New Issue: SONATA for Solo Violin (DSE531), . Commissioned by the Naumburg Foundation and dedicated to Robert Mann.
2007 New Issue: RHAPSODY for Violoncello with Vibraphone and Piano Accompaniment (DSE534), [2003, 10 minutes).
2007 New Issue: SONATA No 2 for Violin and Piano (DSE536), [2004, 18 minutes].
2007 New Issue: TRIO for Violin, Violoncello and Piano (DSE537), [2004, 14 minutes]. Both this work and the SONATA No 2 (DSE536) signal that the composer was heading in a new stylistic direction. The works are lyrically romantic, intensely personal and alive with virtuosic high-energy and flair.
CONCERTINO for Bb Clarinet and Orchestra (DSE110), [2003, 14 minutes]. Premiered by The Boston Modern Orchestra Project, Ian Greitzer, soloist with Gil Rose, conductor in Boston's Jordan Hall on January 22, 2005. Conductor's Score, Study Score, Clarinet and Piano.
TRIO for Clarinet in A, Violoncello, and Piano (DSE532), [2003, 14 minutes]. Commissioned by the New York New Music Ensemble and premiered by them on a concert entitled "A Tribute to Donald Martino" in New York's Merkin Hall on May 3rd, 2004. Score and Parts.
FIFTH STRING QUARTET (DSE535), [2004, 18 minutes]. Premiered by the Lydian String Quartet in Slosberg Hall, Brandeis University on March 3, 2005. Score and Parts sold separately.
CATHY (DSE803) [at least 6 minutes]. Jazz Ballad for Clarinet, Vibraphone, Piano, Bass (Cello optional) and Drums. Written in 1957 when the composer, living in New York, assembled a combo of noted players. The edition contains Martino's improvisations from that period. See CANON BALL and THREEWAY below for a more detailed description of the composer's world in 1957. Score and Parts.
SOLILOQUY for Vibraphone Solo (DSE533), [6 minutes, 2003].
ROMANZA for Violin Solo (DSE530), [2000, 11 minutes]. For the extraordinary virtuoso, Rolf Schulte. Premiered by him on Nov. 16, 2000 at Paine Hall in Boston. Subsequent performances in New York City, Xalapa (Mex.), Vassar College, Wellesley College, and more...
From "THE BAD CHILD'S BOOK OF BEASTS" (DSE306), [2000, 6 minutes]. Transcription for SATB Chorus, Flute or Violin, and Two Cellos from the original 1951 version for Voice and Piano. Humorous texts by Hilaire Belloc.
PARISONATINA AL'DODECAFONIA for Solo Cello (DSE524x), [1964, 12 minutes]. Four color edition.
The manuscript of PARISONATINA AL'DODECAFONIA, as originally presented to the cellist Aldo Parisot, was copied in four colors in order to facilitate the reading of rapid changes between pizzicato, col legno, arco, and finger tapping. To save the original publisher the great expense of a color edition, the composer prepared a shaped notehead version, which, while easier to read than standard notation, was always a compromise. In response to the requests of so many cellists over the years, Dantalian is pleased to offer this color edition.
PICCOLO STUDIO for Alto Saxophone (DSE529), [1999, 3 minutes]. Written for Kenneth Radnofsky in celebration.
SERENATA CONCERTANTE Study Score (DSE517a), [1999, 26 minutes]. Koussevitzky Foundation commission for the Parnassus New Music Ensemble. Octet for Flute with Piccolo and Alto Flute, Bb Clarinet with extended Bass Clarinet, Flugel Horn with Cornet, Percussion, Piano, Violin, Violoncello. A big five movement work with much dramatic variety, many beautiful melodies, and its share of bravura.
NOTTURNO Study Score (DSE523a). Reissue in true study score form (7 x 10.5) of Mr. Martino's 1973 masterpiece in the chamber music genre. Sextet for Flute with Alto Flute and Piccolo, Bb Clarinet with extended Bass Clarinet, Percussion, Piano, Violin with Viola, Violoncello.
THREEWAY (DSE804), [1957, 3 minutes]. A jazz invention for Clarinet or Piano, Vibraphone, and String Bass or Cello. For more information, see CANON BALL below.
CANON BALL (DSE802), [1957, one minute plus]. Duo for Vibraphone and Piano. Two Score-Parts.
Three months early, in the summer of 1956, lured by the possibility of a teaching job, I returned to the United States after two glorious years of composition study in Florence, Italy. I had won prizes and awards. Even commissions had come to me. I fully expected to find a good college teaching job. All my applications were rejected.
I settled in New York City and scraped by as best I could using the resources I had. I taught theory, clarinet and oboe at the Third Street Settlement Music School, played whatever jobs I could find, did some ghost arranging, and created many "popular songs that never became popular." In the summer of 1957, by this time resigned to the freelance life, I composed six contrapuntal jazz compositions and prepared arrangements of four standards for various ensembles, the aggregate of which was clarinet, vibraphone, piano, bass, and drums. I hoped to form a jazz group to perform these pieces and the many more that I planned to write as the years went by.
A close friend and childhood colleague was living in town, still waiting for his big break. I enlisted his aid. I picked up another player on the Union Floor simply on the recommendation of a casual acquaintance. (These two would go on to true greatness in the world of jazz.) I recruited a well-known bass player, quite a few years older than the rest of us, somehow found the missing player, and the group was formed. With the grand sum of $40.00 I managed to buy some rehearsal-recording time at Nola's Studio, and on one hot, very hot, summer afternoon in August we recorded as much--hardly more than snippets in some cases -- as we could. The works were never performed in their entirety or in public. That brief session tape and the sheet music itself are all that remain of my jazz hopes. Miraculously, within a few weeks I got that teaching position. The good news is that for the next 36 years, and through five different college institutions, I was able to stabilize my financial world. The bad news is that it soon became apparent that teaching, composing, performing, and having a life were too much for me to handle. The clarinet had to go.
Now that I am retired from teaching, I again have time to practice my clarinet and I regard those old jazz pieces as unfinished business. It is my hope to record them and then issue the sheet music as Dantalian publications. In the meanwhile, three of them have been adapted for the Core Ensemble and may be heard on New World 80518-2 under the title A Jazz Set.
With Canon Ball, Dantalian issues the first in a series of publications which, it is hoped, will proceed at the rate of one per year. -- Donald Martino, 9/1/1999
TRANSCRIPTIONS FOR CLARINET AND PIANO:
2007 New Issue: FANTASIA per clarinetto nell'opera RIGOLETTO di G. Verdi by Francesco Pontillo (DSE905), . Transcribed by Donald Martino for Clarinet and Piano from an 1899 band manuscript. With this brilliant and lyric FANTASIA, Dantalian issues this fourth and final adaptation.
SONATA for Clarinet & Piano No 6 (DSE908). From Bach's Sonatas for Vln & Pf. These transcriptions were made by Mr. Martino in 1952 for him to perform.
SONATA for Clarinet & Piano No 1 (DSE907). From Bach's Sonatas for Vln & Pf.
CONCERTINO, Fantasia per clarino nell'opera UN BALLO IN MASCHERA di G. Verdi by Donato Lovreglio (DSE901). Transcribed by Donald Martino for Clarinet and Piano from the 1900 manuscript for Clarinet and Orchestra by Pietro Musone. For more information, see DIVERTIMENTO LA FORZA DEL DESTINO below.
FANTASIA per clarinetto nell'opera POLIUTO di Gaetano Donizetti by Francesco Pontillo (DSE904). Adapted for Clarinet and Piano by Donald Martino from a manuscript for Clarinet and Orchestra circa 1900. For more information, see DIVERTIMENTO LA FORZA DEL DESTINO below.
DIVERTIMENTO LA FORZA DEL DESTINO (DSE903). Transcription for clarinet and piano by Donald Martino from an 1876 manuscript for clarinet and band.
In my early teens, growing up in Plainfield, New Jersey, I studied the clarinet with an Italian bandman named Francesco Lieto. Frank had emigrated to this country, I suspect, sometime early in the century. He played me through the studies of Cavallini, Labanchi, and the other great Italian masters as well as solo pieces in manuscript dating from 1873 to 1903 that were based upon Italian operas, well known to every Italian in whatever land he might reside.
Frank occasionally took me with him to play the Italian Feasts, not only in New Jersey, but in Brooklyn and Long Island. Those were wonderful times, not just for the music, but for the lavish feasts of roasted chickens, peppers, much pasta, good cheese and wine. On some occasions Frank even arranged for me to play the solo pieces I had studied, accompanied by the band versions for which he had parts.
Upon Frank's death I inherited a number of these manuscripts. And for many years they languished on my shelves as, after 1957, did my clarinets. But when I retired from teaching in 1993, I decided to pick up those old clarinets again and, perhaps more in the spirit of nostalgia than anything else, to again play the music which had so enriched my life when I was still a player. That literature of course includes Brahms and Mozart and Weber, but it also includes those band pieces.
In my spare time, I have been busily preparing adaptations of Frank's music that I could play with piano, even if those great old bands, abundantly staffed with players of Frank's talents and sensibilities, are no longer with us. These manuscripts are probably copies of copies, who knows how far removed from their original source. But my objective has not been to stubbornly confirm the authenticity of the music as much as it has been to recreate the authenticity of my youthful experience. Some of these pieces exist, or have existed in piano versions. But I was after the preparation of versions which could in some way pass on Frank's teachings and capture the sound -- still much in my memory -- of those bands.
With these objectives stated, it will be clear that even though I consulted primary sources (i.e., the original opera full scores), my tendency, whenever there were reasonable digressions from the originals, was to favor the secondary vision of the creator of the Fantasy.
This first Dantalian publication may well be the work of Ernesto Cavallini. Perhaps it is by some other Cavallini. The manuscript is not explicit here since the tendency in these old manuscripts was only to initial the composers first name, or to simply give to the last name "il maestro." But since most of the music here comes from Verdi himself, it hardly matters.
Francesco Lieto was an astonishing virtuoso. No one I have since heard can do more than equal him in speed of finger and tongue, lightness of touch. On his old Albert system instrument with mouthpiece string wrapped and reed on top, he could play as fast as the wind throughout the entire range to c''''. But Frank always stressed musicality and interpretation before virtuosity and talked over and over again about the need to "play the words." Hence, in this edition, and those which are to follow, I include the opera texts and provide secondary phrasings which are intended to "play the words." Most modern players see in these works only a vehicle to show off; to Francesco Lieto and his colleages they were recreations of the greatest music of all time.
With Cavallini's Divertimento, La Forza del Destino, Dantalian issues the first in a series of publications which, it is hoped, will proceed at the rate of one per year. -- Donald Martino, 9/1/1999
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