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What piece should you practice next based on your coffee order?

Nice cup of coffee from Caravane Café in Montréal

It’s no secret by now that I’m a big fan of coffee and other caffeinated beverages.

One day recently, I was waiting in line at a café trying to decide what drink I was going to order when I began to assign clarinet repertoire to coffee orders. (You can take the clarinet away from the clarinetist, but you can’t take the clarinetists away from the clarinet.)

Here are a few suggestions I came up with for repertoire to practice next based on your coffee order (with a few cheeky comments for each suggestion):

  • Espresso – Nielsen Concerto, Op. 57 – You’ll probably need a few espressos to power through this pyrotechnical piece!
  • Americano – Mozart Concerto, K. 622 – classic and to the point!
  • Cappuccino – Debussy Première rhapsodie – My teacher in high school told me that I should play the opening of this piece “as light as the foam on a cappuccino,” so I’ve always associated the two!
  • Latte – Weber Concerto No. 1 or 2 – classic with an operatic panache
  • Flat White – Schubert Shepherd on the Rock – understated and elegant but still packs a punch
  • Macchiato – Hindemith Sonata – subtle yet strikingly complex
  • Cortado (my personal favorite) – Brahms Sonata No. 1 or 2 – smooth, rich, and subtle
  • Mocha – Saint-Saëns Sonata, Op. 167 – rich with a sophisticated sweetness
  • Frappuccino – Giampieri’s Carnival of Venice – sugary sweet with pizzazz

There are countless coffee drinks out there, so what other coffees would you pair with clarinet repertoire?