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Popular Choral Works with Reduced Scoring in the Orchestral Parts

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B4 Conductor's Score

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This version requires 2 clarinets, 2 bassoons, 2 horns, violins (only one part), double violas, double celli and double bass (with options regarding violins, violas, timpani and organ).
This is 12 fewer players than Fauré's original.

This has been the most problematic re-scoring I have attempted so far.
Fauré used an unconventional orchestra and seems to have reluctantly added more woodwind and violins at the request of his publisher.
This has resulted in oddities like the 2nd flute having only 8 notes to play which are not doubled by the 1st flute, which has fewer than 40 notes to play in total.
The trombones also appear only briefly, again with fewer than 40 notes to play and the timpani play only in 19 bars of the Libera Me.
Violins do not play in three of the seven movements.

In doing my reduced orchestration I have tried to retain the quality of sound Fauré seemed to be wanting while reducing the general power and volume of the orchestra so that the choir can always be heard clearly. The reduced forces should also help ease the strain on society budgets.

I'll be providing this work with two options regarding the strings.
1. The original string scoring by Fauré (violins, viola 1, viola 2, cello 1, cello 2 and double bass).
2. The string parts reallocated so the normal 1st and 2nd violins, violas, celli and double bass can be used.

By coincidence, the orchestration is quite similar to the Mozart Requiem (assuming you are O.K. about substituting clarinets for basset horns - the notes never go below the normal range of the clarinet) and that you also use my brass reduction. The differences are that horns are not needed in the Mozart but timpani are.

I will be including parts for timpani and organ as optional extras as they obviously do add something to the overall sound but the scoring works without them.

The advantages of using this version are

  • The usual problem of the orchestra being too loud for the choir is resolved.
  • The reduced orchestra will fit more easily into smaller venues.
  • Twelve fewer orchestral players need to be hired easing the pressure on society budgets.

The disadvantages using this version include

  • A less full sound.
  • Not authentic.
  • While fewer musicians are needed, they do need to be experienced players as the orchestration is more like chamber music with every note counting.