Clarinet Chamber Music Trios by Howard J. Buss

Compositions and Arrangements
Grading Scale:
I-II: Easy
III-IV: Intermediate
V-VI: Advanced
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Clarinet and bass clarinet in chamber music - trios
listed in alphabetical order, durations are in parenthesis:

AWAKENING for clarinet, guitar, and string bass is a soulful composition strongly influenced by Jewish Klezmer music. It was composed for Giora Feidman, the Klezmer legend. The music moves from a mystical, contemplative opening to an energetic finale. Color is added to the ensemble with the use of wind chimes, finger cymbals, and finger rolls on the body of the string bass. This is a memorable addition to any recital, and because of its spiritual nature, makes a wonderful musical offering in a house of worship. (7’)  Grade IV.
Sound Samples: Excerpt 1 (the opening).mp3; Excerpt 2.mp3; Excerpt 3.mp3

Music available from Cimarron Music Press

CAPRICCIO (1986) for clarinet, trombone, and one percussion is a whimsical composition. Its overall structure is related to sonata-rondo form. Following an introduction, the frolicking Exposition unfolds only to be interrupted by a chorale-like episode followed by a paraphrase of the opening “thematic” material. The development section consists primarily of cadenzas for the percussionist, trombonist, and clarinetist respectively. The cadenzas are separated by colorful transitional passages. The clarinet cadenza is abruptly interrupted by the percussionist and trombonist leading to a section in Dixieland style. The work concludes with a Recapitulation and Coda.Capriccio subtly pokes fun at the pyrotechnical characteristics exhibited by many contemporary compositions and the same time hints at a parallel with similar elements in Dixieland and jazz. The work was premiered in at the University of South Florida in Tampa by the composer on trombone, clarinetist Judy E. Buss, and percussionist Robert McCormick in November, 1981. The instrumentation includes tom-toms, snare drum, tambourine, suspended cymbals, cowbells, triangle, tam-tam, bell tree, one timpani, vibraphone & bells. "Frolicking and freewheeling with 12-tone Dixieland to boot!" - The London Times (13’)  Grade V-VI.
Sound Samples: Excerpt 1.mp3; Excerpt .mp3;

Excerpt 3.mp3; Excerpt 4.mp3; Excerpt 5.mp3.mp3

- Video on YouTube

Music available from Cimarron Music Press

DESERT ODYSSEY (1997) for clarinet, bassoon, and piano. Although there is no specific program involved in this music, it does nevertheless have a strong narrative quality. The musical development takes the form of a chain of episodes and is suggestive of a journey through the spectacular, awe-inspiring landscapes of the desert Southwest. Beautiful, lyrical sections contrast with intense and dramatic passages. Desert Odyssey was commissioned by The International Clarinet Association and premiered at ClarinetFest 1997. (11’) Grade V. 
Sound samples: Excerpt 1.mp3; Excerpt 2.mp3; Excerpt 3.mp3; Excerpt.mp3     Hear on YouTube.

Score samples (score in C): Excerpt 1.pdf; Excerpt 2.pdf; Excerpt 3.pdf

Music available from Cimarron Music Press

Divertissements_coverDIVERTISSEMENTS for Bb clarinet and percussion was composed in the autumn of 2016 for clarinetist Kathleen Mulcahy. This work is designed so that either one or two percussionists can perform it. The 3 movements take listeners through a wide range of emotions and sonic atmospheres. Lyrical sections that are playfully juxtaposed with forceful passages characterize the first movement, Temporal Intrigues.The hauntingly beautiful second movement, Mystic Eyes, has a dreamy, meditative quality. Fusional Escapades is energetic and, with the exception of the clarinet cadenza, the performers are equal partners. (12’40”)  Grade V. - YouTube Video

Percussion Notes.pdf; Score Samples: Movement 1.pdf, Movement 2.pdf, Movement 3.pdf

Clarinet Part Samples: Movement 1.pdf, Movement 2.pdf, Movement 3.pdf

Sound Samples: Movement 1: Excerpt 1.mp3, Excerpt 2.mp3 - Movement 2: Excerpt 3.mp3, Excerpt 4.mp3

Movement 3: Excerpt 5.mp3, Excerpt 6.mp3

Music available from Cimarron Music Press

FANTASIA (1988) for flute, clarinet, and piano moves gradually from the contemplative opening to an intense and driving finish. "The writing is fresh, and the music is full of vitality and vivid imagination. A fabulous sonic journey.” - The Atlanta Constitution.  (7’30”) Grade V.

Sound Samples: Excerpt 1.mp3; Excerpt 2.mp3; Excerpt 3.mp3    YouTube Video

Music available from Cimarron Music Press

FLORIDA TABLEAU (1987) for clarinet, trombone, and piano is in 3 movements: The March of Progress, Pastorale, and The Eternal Sea. The energetic first movement features dramatic contrast between lyrical lines in the winds sounding over a hard-driving piano accompaniment, and a development section characterized by staccato melodic fragments being passed among the players. The second movement, Pastorale, is impressionistic and paints a sonic portrait of rural Florida's vast pasture lands, forests, lakes, and the Everglades. The Eternal Sea begins and ends with turbulent sections, one can easily imagine great waves crashing on the shoreline. Florida Tableau was commissioned by the Florida State Music Teachers Association. “A curious musical blend of the old and the new, much like modern Florida itself.” - The Orlando Sentinel
(16’40”) Grade V.
Sound Samples: Excerpt Mov.1.mp3; Excerpt Mov.2.mp3; Excerpt Mov.3.mp3

Music available from Cimarron Music Press

Gemtones coverGEMTONES for two clarinets and bassoon (or bass clarinet) was written for clarinetist Kathleen Mulcahy during the fall of 2019. A bass clarinet part is included as an alternative to the bassoon. The six short movements were inspired by the beauty of gemstones and exhibit a wide array of moods and sonic atmospheres ranging from the mystical, to the brilliant, vibrant passages: Ruby, Opal, Diamond in the Rough, Onyx, Garnet, and Sapphire.
(12’10”) Grade V. - YouTube video

Score sample: Excerpts.pdf - Sound samples: Movement 1.mp3; Movement 2.mp3; Movement 3.mp3;

Movement 4.mp3; Movement 5.mp3; Movement 6.mp3

Music available from Cimarron Music Press

GLACIAL VISTAS (2013) for flute, clarinet, and one percussion was inspired by the composer’s visit to Glacier National Park in Montana during 2011. The three movements, Dawn, On the Trail, and In the Realm of Twin Falls, capture the awe-inspiring grandeur and beauty of the rugged landscape. Glacial Vistas is dedicated to flutist John Bailey and was premiered by him; Diane Barger, clarinet; and Anthony Falcone, percussion.
(15’15”) Grade V-VI.
Sound samples:: Movement 1 Excerpt.mp3; Movement 2 Excerpt.mp3;

Movement 3 Excerpt 1.mp3; Movement 3 Excerpt 2.mp3

Video on YouTube

Music available from Cimarron Music Press

IN THE MIRROR OF TIME (2003) for clarinet, violin, and cello in two movements: Recollections and Moving On. The first is lyrical and sweet and is permeated by a nostalgic ambience. The second retains some of the sentimentality of the first, but is more animated and pushes forward suggesting the relentless progression of time.
(10’) Grade V.  
Sound Samples:Movement 1A.mp3; Movement 1B.mp3 Movement 2A.mp3

View on YouTube: Movement I."Recollections", Movement II."Moving On"

Music available from Cimarron Music Press

NIGHT FLIGHT (1999) for piccolo, clarinet, and piano. This riveting work provides exciting contrasts between lyrical and technical sections. It was commissioned for the 1999 National Flute Association Convention and was premiered at the event by Rebecca Arrenson, piccolo; Robert Price, clarinet; and Paula Peace, piano. (9’) Grade V.
Recorded by Lois Herbine, piccolo; Allison Herz, clarinet; and Charles Abramovic, piano on the critically-acclaimed Crystal Records CD "TAKE WING", available at
Sound samples: Sample#1.mp3; Sample#2.mp3; Sample#3.mp3

Video on YouTube

Music available from Cimarron Music Press

ONE NIGHT for clarinet, tenor sax, and piano is in four movements: Evening Zephyrs, Midnight Musings, Venturing Out, and Sounds from the Blue Door.
(11') Grade V.
Score samples: Excerpts.pdf
- Video on YouTube

Music available from Cimarron Music Press

PASSAGE TO EDEN (2001) for clarinet, French horn, and piano. This dramatic work is in 4 continuous movements. The mood of the first is of ominous significance, as if one was preparing to embark on an arduous journey. The music is lyrical, yet contains an undercurrent of tension and anticipation. The second movement is characterized by a contrapuntal dialogue between the clarinet and the horn over a driving ostinato in the piano. The lyrical and animated counterpoint sounding over the running bass line and chord punctuations in the keyboard gradually give way to a section of turbulence which serves as a transition to the relative calm of the following movement.The third movement has an easy flowing vitality. There is a silvery brilliance to the music with a hint of nostalgia. The interweaving melodic strands grow increasingly romantic in quality and then, quite suddenly, give way to a developmental passage which builds in intensity and expectation. The finale is spirited and jubilant in character. (12') Grade V.
Sound Samples: Excerpt 1.mp3; Excerpt 2.mp3; Excerpt 3.mp3

Music available from Cimarron Music Press

REMEMBRANCES (2000) for clarinet, cello, and piano s a lyrical work that was written following the death of the composer's 97-year-old grandmother. Rather than being a somber memorial or musical epitaph, this charming and melodious composition is a celebration of life. The character of the opening section is contemplative. Gradually the music becomes more animated and finishes in a spirit of buoyant optimism.
(8’) Grade V.
Score sample: Excerpt.pdf -  Sound samples: Excerpt 1.mp3; Excerpt 2.mp3; Excerpt 3.mp3

Music available from Cimarron Music Press

REVERIE (1992) for clarinet, viola, and piano. This beautiful, neo-impressionistic work was commissioned Reverieis rewarding for the performers and audience alike. As the title suggests, the music is contemplative.
(10’30”) Grade V.
View in its entirety on YouTube

Sound Samples: Excerpt 1.mp3; Excerpt 2.mp3; Excerpt 3.mp3; Excerpt 4.mp3

Music available from Cimarron Music Press

SAINT FRANCIS AND THE ANIMALS for flute, clarinet, and harpis a tribute to St. Francis of Assisi, the venerated Catholic friar, preacher, founder of several Orders, and lover of animals and the environment. In two movements, The Birds, and The Wolf, this composition musically portrays two of the many well-known stories of how Saint Francis communicated with animals. Saint Francis and the Animals was commissioned by Kathleen Jones for ClarinetFest 2013 in Assisi, Italy. (11’30”) Grade V. 
Sound Samples: Movement I: Excerpt 1.mp3; Excerpt 2.mp3;

Movement II, Excerpt 1.mp3; Excerpt 2.mp3; Excerpt 3.mp3 - YouTube videos: I. The Birds & II. The Wolf 

Music available from Cimarron Music Press 

THERE IS A SEASON(2007) for Bb clarinet and 2 percussion. The titles of the two movements, A Time of War, and A Time of Peace, as well as that of the larger work are derived from Ecclesiastes 3 in the Old Testament of the Bible. This work was written during the Second Iraq War and is programmatic. The 1st movement is tense and has militaristic character with dramatic proclamations culminating in an exciting solo passage for the percussion. The second movement begins with an atmosphere of apprehension that gives way to a spirited dance-like section. Eventually the mood becomes reflective, but during the clarinet cadenza the mood brightens and returns to the animated and joyous mood exhibited earlier in the movement. (13’30”)  Grade V.
Score samples: Percussion setup page.pdf; Excerpt movement 1.pdf ; Excerpt movement 2.pdf

Sound samples: Movement1A.mp3; Movement 1B.mp3; Movement 2 .mp3

Video on YouTube

Music available from Cimarron Music Press

VILLAGE SCENES (2004) for oboe, clarinet, and bassoon by Howard Buss is a charming, colorful work inspired by the composer’s childhood memories of the village of Old Zionsville in Lehigh County, Pennsylvania. The 3 movements are: Playground Games, The Church By the Spring, and The Arrival of Winter. (7’16”) Grade V.
Score samples (score in C): Movement 1.pdf ; Movement 2.pdf ; Movement 3.pdf

Sound samples: Movement 1.mp3; Movement 2.mp3; Movement 3.mp3

Music available from Cimarron Music Press

Visitations from the Dark coverVISITATIONS FROM THE DARK for alto sax, bass clarinet, and piano by Howard J. Buss was written for Barry McGinnis, Karl Kolbeck, and Sarah Masterson for the 2020 North American Saxophone Alliance Conference. The three movements traverse a wide diversity of moods and sonic atmospheres ranging from the mysterious, to soaring, spirited, and playful passages: Mirages (3’30”), Midnight Messenger  (3’47”), Sprites (4’03”). Total duration without pauses: 11’20” Grade V.
Sound samples - Movement 1: Excerpt 1.mp3; Excerpt 2.mp3; Movement 2: Excerpt 1.mp3; Excerpt 2.mp3;

Movement 3: Excerpt 1.mp3; Excerpt 2.mp3 - Score sample: Excerpt.pdf  -  YouTube video

Music available from Cimarron Music Press

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Clarinet/Bass Clarinet Sheet Music

Index of Clarinet Music:
Click on an instrumentation link, works are listed in alphabetical order within each category.

Solo clarinet - unaccompanied

Clarinet with one other instrument or voice (includes clarinet duos, clarinet and piano, clarinet and electronic recording, basset horn and piano, etc.)

Clarinet ensembles (includes clarinet trios, quartets, choirs)

Clarinet or bass clarinet solo with percussion ensemble

Clarinet in chamber music - trios

Clarinet in chamber music - quartets (includes standard woodwind quartets)

Clarinet in chamber music - quintets and sextets (includes standard wind quintets)

Clarinet and band (or wind ensemble)

Howard J. Buss, Composer       

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Clarinet Music, Online Graded Catalog of Sheet Music
Product description: Clarinet & Bass Clarinet: Solos, Duos, Choirs, and Chamber Music