A mystery from a musician friend of mine:

In the Alpine Symphony by Strauss, the oboe, Eflat clarinet, and bass clarinet/C clarinet have these D's and E's scattered throughout the back half of the piece in the parts and scores. He doesn't think it's a switch from Eflat clarinet to D clarinet since it's in the oboe as well, and also some of the switches would be impossible... Nor does he think it's a rehearsal letter since they keep alternating... and it seems to have nothing to do with any important part since the Bflat clarinets and flutes generally play the same thing... and it isn't a key change...


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According to the notes given at the beginning of my score:

In large orchestras, from rehearsal [94] on, wherever the letter D appears in the 2 Flutes, Oboes, E♭ and C Clarinet parts, these parts are to be doubled. (EDITOR'S NOTE: The doubling ceases where the letter E appears in these same parts.)

I've personally never seen this particular notation before, but it may be related to the German "doppelt besetzt" (doubled) and either "einfach besetzt" (single-voiced) or "einzeln" (single).

  • More likely, E is simply for "Ende" rather than "einsam". – Kilian Foth Jan 25 '18 at 7:11
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    @KilianFoth I would think "Einsam" is the probable one of those. After all, "Solo" and "One player only" are standard terms for this exact thing. – Arthur Jan 25 '18 at 7:47
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    It's more likely "doppelt" and "einzeln", "double" and "single" rather than "einsam" which is "lonesome". – user47521 Jan 25 '18 at 10:03
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    Except that "einsam" means "alone" in the sense of "lonely", not single or solo. My guess is that it's either "Ende" or possibly "einfach", which means simple or single. "Einfach besetzt" means "single voiced" as opposed to "doppelt besetzt". – Scott Wallace Jan 25 '18 at 11:09
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    @ScottWallace That sounds much better; thanks Scott! – Richard Jan 25 '18 at 11:21

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