‘Tis The Last Rose of Summer
# of Players: 4
Instrumentation: Clarinet Quartet
From the arranger:
Thomas Moore (1779-1852) was an Irish poet and composer who wrote a number of songs which have become popular and very much included in the lexicon of both Irish and American song history. His songs and poetry were immensely popular with the general public, and even inspired other composers such as Flotow and Mendelsohn to write variations and fantasias based on his songs.
Three of Moore’s songs became hits in the United States, namely, “Believe Me Those Endearing Young Charms,” “The Irish Minstrel Boy”, and ‘Tis The Last Rose of Summer” have solid standing in music history, with the latter selling more than a million copies. These songs have even been included in various instrumental instructions books, owing to their pleasant harmonies and easy flow. Over the years, there have been many recordings of “’Tis The Last Rose of Summer”, by diverse artists as Bing Crosby, Nina Simone as well as opera stars Eileen Farrell, Joan Sutherland, Lily Pons, and Renee Fleming. Hollywood included the song in two films, one being “Three Smart Girls Grow Up” in 1939, sung beautifully by Deanna Durbin, and the other being 1934’s “One Night of Love”, sung by Grace Moore.
Given the lyricism and ethereal nature of the piece, and although I am a flutist, I thought that a clarinet ensemble would be a perfect way to bring out the character of the song. In an educational vain, this is ideal of developing clarinetists to bring out their tone quality, intonation and over-all musicianship.