Set of 12 etudes for solo clarinet.
Set of 12 etudes for solo clarinet
James M. Stephenson
YEHTUDES – the story:
In the summer of 2018, I approached John Yeh, the assistant principal and solo E-flat clarinetist of the Chicago Symphony, about collaborating on a clarinet etude book.
John and I had just finished a CD project with Cedille Records (“Liquid Melancholy”), which contained a lot of my solo and chamber clarinet music, yet I still felt inspired to create more music for clarinet.
Furthermore, John’s daughter, Molly, had recently been making big headlines as a food-blogger (resulting in a subsequent TV show), and upon a visit to her blog (“My Name is Yeh”), I discovered a list of cake recipes that I found to be musically inspiring.
And with that, the idea for “Yehtudes” was born.
Following the example of a previous project I had done with trumpet players, John and I together sent out a notice to any interested clarinetists to see if they might like to “subscribe” to the project.
To the right is a list of all of the brave clarinetists who signed on, and who agreed to receive “world premiere Yehtudes” in their email inboxes, for their own firsthand look at each one, just created that day.
I attempted to address (with John’s help) 12 different points of study for the clarinet, but to do so in a way that would simultaneously be musically rewarding.
I also cycled through all of the keys, alternating between major and minor, to try to capture as many musical possibilities as I could, within the brief 12-etude process.
All of this took place during the month of July, 2018, and the result is the set of etudes contained in the subsequent pages.
Of note – as of this date – Yehtudes #5 (“Strawberry Hi-Hat Cupcakes”) and #8 (“Italian Rainbow Cookie Cake”) come with accompaniment. The former uses hi-hat (due to the title), while the latter uses piano. The hi-hat is included herein, while the piano accompaniment for #8 is sold separately at composerjim.com.
The list of those who contributed:
Brenden Louis Ayestaran
Salva Contreras Gila
Melissa Johnson Lander
Liz Gish Matera
Catina Franklin Sweedy