Boffons (transcrption pour clarinet)

Van Eyck
Boffons ‘Der Fluyten Lust-hof’
(transcription pour clarinette)
Encore 15
Date de parution: 2023
ISBN 9 790803 760263



(uniquement en français)

Jacob van Eyck (1590 – 1657), a blind musician and member of the Dutch nobility class, published his unique and monumental work, « Der Fluyten Lust – hof, » to the delight of all recorder lovers, in 1644; It consists of 143 series of variations (or rather « diminutions, » i.e., divisions of notes by melodic flourishes with smaller and faster values) on themes from various sources, from liturgical psalms to fashionable dances, and is a unique and indeed iconic work in the history of literature for solo wind instrument.

The « Boffons » theme, in its refreshing simplicity, consists of a succession of arpeggiated chords — which can also serve as an accompanying bass for all subsequent variations — decreased now by leaps, now by joint degrees, in a crescendo of speed and buffoonery.

In this transcription for clarinet in B-flat, or preferably for piccolo clarinet in E-flat (closer to the soprano recorder in brilliance and tension of sound), I wanted to add some repetitions (of the theme and variations 1, 2 and 3) and a cadenza, suggesting winking and comic theatrical effects, in keeping with the spirit of the piece.

Stefano Rapetti

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