The Skittle King (in French, Le Roi de Quille – pronounced Rwa day keeee….) is a traditional French folk tune that I heard in the Auvergne when I was learning to play the accordion.
Written for one or two clarinettists and an ensemble of younger string players, most of it is accessible and can be simplified by the teacher (dotted quarter notes instead of three eighth notes), it’s an ideal piece to instill the feeling of tonality, tuning and sound quality (especially for the double bass who can get the feel of the G major chord and home into it).
The clarinet parts can be played on other instruments and if necessary, I can provide parts for them.
The fast bits can be played on the piano if the strings aren’t advanced enough. The clarinet parts are grade 5 or 6 (I think). The strings vary in difficulty and go from grade 1 or 2 in the lower strings to Grade 5. The ritornello should be accessible however to Grade 2 in the strings.
If you’ve listened to the mp3 recording and you’ll have a fair idea of how to perform it. The string writing is deliberately simple, to let the teacher concentrate on sound quality and intonation. Not all of the parts except the first clarinet and first violin are essential if there is a piano to fill in the harmony.
If you perform it, do let me know and …
And if you’d like to make a small financial contribution to the work, that would be most appreciated.