Trio in G Minor for Clarinet, Bassoon
William Yeates Hurlstone
Catherington Lane, Waterlooville, HANTS,
PO8 0TU, UK
May 2004, 1st revision 9th July 2004,
2nd revision 29th September 2004, 3rd
revision 21st October 2004, 4th revision
21st January 2005, 5th revision 25th
February 2005, 6th revision 23rd November
J Moore Copyright © 2004
of the Trio
full document can be downloaded as a
PDF file here
in G Minor by
William Hurlstone is one of only a handful
of works written for clarinet, bassoon
and piano; as such, it will be of interest
alike. This attractive piece,
written in the late 19th
century, provides a valuable addition
to the repertoire. It has both audience
and player appeal; however, from a performer's
perspective it is a frustrating work
to prepare. The parts and score of the
only publicly available source abound
with inconsistencies. Even with the
latest Emerson edition, while matters
of inconsistency have been addressed,
it is still difficult to decipher exactly
the intent of the composer; the gratuitous
overuse of expression marks is particularly
troublesome. In comparison, Hurlstone's
Pieces for Clarinet and Piano
and his Sonata
Bassoon and Piano
are both finely crafted works. It is
therefore a mystery as to why the Trio
should be so uncharacteristic of Hurlstone's
usual attention to detail.
first printed (Emerson) editioni
of the Trio was
based on the only publicly accessible
source: a professional copy of the autograph
made during the 1930s. This source suffers
not only from having had alterations
made by Parrii,
but in its original form it was hardly
a faithful reproduction of the autograph.
Among the faults that could be readily
detected (but not necessarily easily
corrected) were inconsistent markings
of expression and incorrect harmony.
It became apparent that a revision of
the printed edition was necessary. Emerson
appointed an external editor to undertake
this task. This resulted in the publishing
of the second editioniii
of the Trio, where
all readily detectable faults were addressed.
Independently of this, the author had
already embarked upon a detailed study
of the autograph manuscript (which is
in private handsiv).
From this privileged position it has
been possible to gain an insight into
the composer's compositional process.
Moreover, it has also been possible
to determine the extent to which the
1930s copy of the Trio (and
thus both of the Emerson editions) had
diverged from the autograph. To aid
the conscientious performer, the author
has now prepared a set of some 450 corrigenda
These should be collated with Emerson's
second edition to produce the correct
the course of researching this work,
two significant and related discoveries
have been made:
third movement had been omitted
from both published editions as
well as from the professional copy
commissioned in the 1930s;
order of the first and last movements
had been reversed in both published
and professional copies.
the Scherzo restored, the first
and last movements interchanged, numerous
corrections applied, and erroneous annotations
removed, the Trio in G Minor has
become a rather more substantial work
and one worthy of serious attention.
this article I shall discuss evidence
that the Scherzo belongs to the
Trio in G Minor and that its removal
and the subsequent exchanging of the
outer movements were neither of the
composer's intent nor justified. New
information relating to Hurlstone's
activities as performer and composer
has surfaced; this is also presented
here. It had been long understood that
the Trio received its première
and indeed dated form that time.
However, by making a comparative study
of Hurlstone's handwriting and manuscripts
it has been possible to date the Trio
in G Minor as being composed around
and to conclude that it had probably
never received a public performance
during Hurlstone's lifetime.
Emerson edition no. 62 ©1983
John Parr (1869-1962), Sheffield bassoonist.
Organised throughout the Monthly Chamber
Concerts at the Victoria Hall, Sheffield
1930-1957. He is responsible for having
discovered much unusual and unpublished
wind repertoire. A large proportion
of his personal library now resides
at the British Library.
Emerson second edition no. 62 ©1998,
ed. Diana Bickley.
Waterhouse private library, Gloucestershire.
Corrigenda to the Trio in G Minor
is available from the author.
K. Hurlstone, p 58 confuses the Trio
in G Minor with the Four Characteristic
Pieces for Clarinet and Piano
where she incorrectly cites the 1900
Clinton concert as the Trio's première.