Works for Wind Instruments

by John Craton


Below are listed all my works to date that incorporate wind instruments either as solo instruments or in ensemble (excluding orchestral works). I have endeavored to list them with information regarding the availability of scores and with audio files that hopefully are a bit more listenable than the earlier ones posted. These audios are, for the most part, mp3s of the original Sibelius playback and are not live performances. Titles are listed alphabetically below the table.


Flute Clarinet / Saxophone Recorder Brass
  • Autumn Leaf
  • Beowulf: A Suite for Ancient Instruments
  • Elementals
  • Flute Concerto
  • Five Observations
  • Trois sœurs assyriennes
  • Romanza
  • Sonate “Trois petites filles”
  • Sonatina for Saxophone & Piano
  • Ancient Nocturne (recorder, harp, duduk/oboe, shenai/cor anglais, percussion)
  • Beowulf: A Suite for Ancient Instruments
  • Five Observations
  • Sonatina in F
  • Three Tableaux from George MacDonald
  • Beowulf: A Suite for Ancient Instruments
  • Five Apothegms (violin, horn, trombone)
  • Tuba Concerto in G Minor



  • Ancient Nocturne
    recorder, harp, duduk/oboe, shenai/cor anglais, percussion
    A short study in Dorian mode for recorder, harp, duduk (or oboe), shenai (or cor anglais). and small percussion.

    Audio (mp3)
    Ancient Nocturne

    Scores
    Contact the composer for score availability.

    Webpage
    www.craton.net/music/ancient.htm




    Autumn Leaf
    flute & harp
    A short work for flute and harp composed for and dedicated to flutist Priscilla Wadsworth.

    Audio (mp3)
    Autumn Leaf

    Scores
    Sheet music for this work is available from Wolfhead Music.

    Webpage
    www.craton.net/music/autumnleaf.htm




    Beowulf: A Suite for Ancient Instruments
    includes transverse flute, recorders, racketts, shawms, krumhorns, sackbuts, horn
    The Beowulf Suite was first composed for an early music consort of ancient instruments. The sound files referenced below represent the original 2000 version (the work was later arranged for full orchestra in 2005). Because computer sound cards are not programmed for the acoustical timbre of medieval instruments such as shawms, krumhorns, and sackbuts, substitutions have necessarily been made for these samples.

    Audio (MIDI only)
    See webpage linked below.

    Scores
    Write to the composer to request information about score availability.

    Webpage
    www.craton.net/music/beowulf.htm




    Elementals
    In European folklore, elementals are said to be the spirits of the elements, specifically the four principal ones of earth, air, fire, and water. Each movement of this work presents a musical portrait of these spirits. “Gnomes” — Spirits of the earth who tend to the soil and geologic formations; often depicted as gnarled, grumpy old men in pointed hats, gnomes may transform themselves into mushrooms during daylight hours where they reside in peace and serenity ... at least until an inattentive young lover steps on one of them! “Sylphs” — Spirits of the air who inspire artists and poets; light, airy, elusive, and solitary, they form clouds and snowflakes and tend to vegetation. “Salamanders” — Spirits of fire; like fire, they live only for the moment, focusing on the here and now. They are characterized by strong drive and sexual energy. “Undines” — Spirits of water, undines usually manifest themselves as beautiful maidens, are graceful of movement and are associated with memory, truth, and loyalty; it is said that the song of undines occasionally can be heard rising above the sound of flowing water. Elementals is dedicated to French composer Michel Bosc.

    Audio (mp3)
    1. Gnomes
    2. Sylphs
    3. Salamanders
    4. Undines

    Scores
    Sheet music for this work is available from Wolfhead Music.

    Webpage
    www.craton.net/music/elementals.htm




    Five Apothegms
    violin, horn & trombone
    These unusual little pieces are some of the shortest works I’ve written but have one of the longest histories. When I was a freshman undergrad I majored in violin, and two of my best friends were French horn and trombone majors. I had the idea of composing a series of short, humorous works for the three of us, and I wrote the first of these musical apothegms in 1972. For some reason (probably laziness) I didn’t compose any others until 2006, when I decided perhaps it was time I finished them. As far as I can tell these represent the only works in the repertoire for this unlikely trio, and because of the odd instrumentation I rather doubt they’ll ever be performed. Hence I offer the sheet music as free PDF downloads for anyone who has an interest in playing around with them. (If anyone out there actually decides to play them, I would appreciate your letting me know. Otherwise I think these will probably exist only as a bizarre musical oddity.) The Apothegms are dedicated to Colleen Bates Lance and Elaine Lear Brown ... with apologies.

    Audio (mp3)
    Apothegm 1
    Apothegm 2
    Apothegm 3
    Apothegm 4
    Apothegm 5

    Scores
    Free PDF scores are available from the webpage linked below.

    Webpage
    www.craton.net/music/apothegms.htm




    Five Observations
    includes flute and recorder
    These five short pieces were written in 1974 for a concert that was subsequently cancelled. (I never did know whether there was any correlation.) They represent my one and only “minimal” excursion into minimalism. After all these years I no longer remember just what I was observing, though I do know that each movement was inspired by Japanese haiku. Only the last of the five still contains the haiku text with which it was associated, and that solely because it was to be sung. The haiku by Basho reads:

    With the scent of plums
    on the moutain road — suddenly
    sunrise comes!
    Scored variously for recorder, flute, koto, guitar, piano, voice, and windchimes, these pieces are mercifully short.

    Audio (mp3)
    Observation No. 1
    Observation No. 2
    Observation No. 3
    Observation No. 4
    Observation No. 5

    Scores
    Write to the composer to request information about score availability.

    Webpage
    www.craton.net/music/fiveobs.htm




    Flute Concerto
    flute & piano
    Scored for solo flute, timpani & strings, the concerto is also available from Wolfhead Music in an edition for solo flute with piano reduction. It consists of three movements: Allegro me non troppo, Lento, and Allegro.

    Audio (mp3)
    1. Allegro ma non troppo
    2. Lento
    3. Allegro

    Scores
    Sheet music for this work is available from Wolfhead Music. To request information about the original version for flute and orchestra, write to the composer.

    Webpage
    www.craton.net/music/flute.htm




    Romanza
    clarinet & piano
    Composed for the young clarinettist Elizabeth Hodges, the Romanza is in the style of the Romantic period. It is designed to help develop the technique of the advancing player and is of moderate difficulty.

    Audio (mp3)
    Romanza

    Scores
    Sheet music for this work is available from Wolfhead Music.

    Webpage
    www.craton.net/music/romanza.htm




    Sonate “Trois petites filles”
    violin, clarinet & piano
    Inspired by the three daughters of friends at my local parish, this sonata represents musical portraits of these delightful young ladies. Each movement is named for one of the girls who were 12, 8, and 6, respectively, at the time of writing. The subtitles of the movements are, for Rosemarie, “toujours active, jamais passive” (“always active, never passive” — in other words, she won’t be still); for Brigid, “elle marche pareille en beauté, à la nuit” (“she walks in beauty, like the night” — a quote from Byron); and for Martina, “quand elle rit, le monde s’embrase” (“when she laughs, the world is set ablaze”).

    Audio (mp3)
    1. Rosemarie (Allegretto)
    2. Brigid (Andante—Nocturne)
    3. Martina (Allegro)

    Scores
    Sheet music for this work is available from Wolfhead Music.

    Webpage
    www.craton.net/music/3filles.htm




    Sonatina for Saxophone & Piano
    saxophone & piano
    The first movement of this work was composed as a stand-alone piece in 1975; the final two movements were added in 1998, and the sonatina was dedicated to my wife on our twentieth wedding anniversary. The sonatina was originally written for saxophone and piano and was premiered in that format by Lester Turner (saxophone) and John Tabler (piano) at St. John’s Museum of Art in Wilmington, North Carolina, in February 2001. At the behest of violinist Lynne Ludeke, the sonatina was reworked for violin and piano in 2002 and has been published in this arrangement by Wolfhead Music. The sound files below are of the violin version.

    Audio (mp3)
    1. Andante—Allegro assai—Andante (“A Summer Sunday”)
    2. Grave (Chaconne)
    3. Allegro (“The Armadillo Races at Victoria, Texas”)

    Scores
    Sheet music for the violin version of this work is available from Wolfhead Music. The original version for saxophone and piano is available on request by writing to the composer.

    Webpage
    www.craton.net/music/sonatina.htm




    Sonatina in F for Recorder & Harpsichord
    recorder & harpsichord
    A mirthful sonatina for soprano recorder and harpsichord, this work is dedicated to French recorder virtuoso Marion Fermé. Possessing a strong Baroque influence, it consists of three movements: Allegretto — Andante — Allegretto; Lento (Après-midi pluvieux); and Allegro (Tambourin).

    Audio (mp3)
    1. Allegretto—Andante—Allegretto
    2. Lento
    3. Allegro (Tambourin)

    Scores
    Sheet music for this work is available from Wolfhead Music.

    Webpage
    www.craton.net/music/recorder.htm




    Three Tableaux from George MacDonald
    alto recorder, mandolin, cello
    Three movements inspired by scenes from the writings of Scottish author George MacDonald: “The Earlier Visions of Tuefelsbürst” (from the short story “The Cruel Painter”); “Lilith’s Mirror” (from the novel Lilith); and “The Light Princess, the Toad, and the Page” (from the fairy tale The Light Princess). Scored for alto recorder, mandolin, and violoncello, the work is dedicated to Evelien Wolting, Ferdinand Binnendijk, and Caterina Trujillo Alonso.

    Audio (mp3)
    1. “The Earlier Visions of Tuefelsbürst”
    2. “Lilith’s Miror”
    3. “The Light Princess, the Toad, and the Page”

    Scores
    Contact the composer for score availability.

    Webpage
    www.craton.net/music/macdonald.htm




    Trois sœurs assyriennes
    flute & piano
    Composing music inspired by children is among my most delightful of labors. These three short pieces are musical caricatures of sisters of Assyrian heritage now living in Modesto, California. Each movement bears the young girl’s name and her chief characteristics: Ayla (age 9), subtitled pétillante et imaginative (feisty and imaginative); Elona (age 5), l’artiste et bienveillante (artistic and kind-hearted); and Edena (age 7), un rire scintillant (with a sparkling laugh). The work is composed for flute and piano and is dedicated to flutist Priscilla Wadsworth.

    Audio (mp3)
    1. Ayla (Moderato)
    2. Elona (Adagietto grazioso—Largo—Adagietto)
    3. Edena (Vivace)

    Scores
    Sheet music for this work is available from Wolfhead Music.

    Webpage
    www.craton.net/music/3soeurs.htm




    Tuba Concerto in G Minor
    tuba & orchestra / tuba & piano
    Composed for Paul Hartin, tubist with the Bloomington Symphony Orchestra, the work is an homage to the late Mexican composer Carlos Chávez. In three movements (Allegretto; Adagio—Andante—Adagio; Allegro), it is scored for solo tuba, strings, and percussion. A piano reduction also is available.

    Audio (mp3)
    1. Allegretto
    2. Adagio—Andante—Adagio
    3. Allegro

    Scores
    Sheet music of the tuba and piano version is available from Wolfhead Music. To request information about the original version for tuba and orchestra, write to the composer.

    Webpage
    www.craton.net/music/tuba.htm




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