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Popular Choral Works with Reduced Scoring in the Orchestral Parts

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B4 Conductor's Score

SCHIRMER arranged by Vincent Novello

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SCHIRMER arranged by Vincent Novello

This version requires 1 flute, 1 oboe, 1 clarinet, 2 bassoons (with optional doubling on contrabassoon for the 2nd bassoon player), 1 horn, 1 trumpet, timpani and normal strings (nine fewer than Haydn's original).

The scoring has been done with a light touch so the solo parts in the wind section remain on the original instruments. 2nd horn parts are mostly played by the clarinet or bassoon. The flute trio which starts part three is now played by flute, oboe and clarinet.

No continuo part is provided. All recitatives are included in the string parts (plus other instruments when Haydn scores them). This means recitatives can be done without a keyboard instrument. If you want to include keyboard accompaniment in your performance then using the piano reduction in the vocal scores will fit with both the choir and orchestra. The choices are yours.

To resolve the irritation of having different rehearsal letters in the orchestra parts as compared with the choir copies, I provide orchestral copies to match these editions.

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.
  • Nine fewer wind players need to be hired easing the pressure on society budgets.
  • Using an edition which matches the one being used by the choir means the bar numbers and rehearsal letters/numbers are the same for everyone.
  • For recitatives, the vocal line with words is included in the relevant orchestral parts.

The disadvantages using this version include:

  • A less full sound, especially in the choruses and more dramatic moments.
  • 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.

The set of orchestral parts (all A4 size) includes one each of the wind, trumpet, horn and timps and 5 x first violin, 4 x 2nd violin, 4 x viola, 4 x cello and 2 x double bass. There is no continuo part as the recits. are all accompanied by strings. Some folk like a keyboard in the recits. and the vocal score can be used for this.