Toward the
Empyrean Heaven

Rediscovered gems  for the bass clarinet 

Multi-platform project to present and deepen understanding, both historic and technical, of the “classic” repertoire (from before 1956) of the bass clarinet.

Based on Thomas Aber's dissertation "A history of the bass clarinet as an orchestral and solo instrument in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries and an annotated, chronological list of solo repertoire for the bass clarinet from before 1945", this project is intended to fill a cultural void existing today by providing to musicians of all ages and levels of development who are interested in the bass clarinet a variety of means to develop acquaintance with and understanding of the bass clarinet’s classical repertoire, to develop innovative instructional methods for young students using this classical literature, and to strengthen the connection with all the resources, both formal (I.C.A.- International Clarinet Association, E.C.A.- European Clarinet Association, etc.) and informal, which are active both nationally and internationally and are of benefit to young people in regard to education about the bass clarinet.


The project is generously supported by:

Buffet-Crampon Paris
Vandoren Paris

Scientific committee


Stefano Cardo
Project Manager

Stefano Cardo is the principal bass clarinetist with the Orchestra del Teatro e la Filarmonica della Scala in Milan, Italy. He is the founder of the International Bass Clarinet Research Center ( and the International Bass Clarinet Association (


Thomas Aber

Thomas Aber is the bass clarinetist with the Omaha Symphony. His studies of the bass clarinet took him to the Juilliard School and to the Netherlands, where he studied with Harry Sparnaay. He then earned his DMA in clarinet at the Conservatory of the University of Missouri at Kansas City. His writings on the bass clarinet, its history, and repertoire are available at


Balthasar Hens

Balthasar Hens is the bass clarinetist with the Stuttgart Philharmonic in Germany and also teaches at the Hochschule für Musik und Tanz in Cologne. He gave the premier performance of Werner Heider’s The Unexpected for bass clarinet and chamber orchestra and has performed the seldom heard Concerto for Bass Clarinet by Josef Schelb with the Stuttgart Philharmonic.


Jean-Marie Paul

Jean-Marie Paul, founded the French Clarinette magazine (1984 -1996) which gave him the opportunity to be in contact with many world-renowned players and composers. Since 1993, he has worked as a communications manager for Vandoren. Paul has served also served as a National Chairperson (France) of the ICA since 2012, succeeding Guy Deplus. He has written articles for The Clarinet since 1980. He plans to publish a book about “Clarinet in France from the origins to today” (composers and works, players, makers) and a “World Repertory of the clarinet” with +50.000 works.



Serena Lazzeri
Training planner

Serena Lazzeri graduated on clarinet and took her bachelor of literature degree in musicology at the University of Pisa. Since 2011 she is clarinet and Music teacher in primary and secondary schools.
On October 2017 she became a member of the Ministerial workgroup on legislative decree April 13/2017 no .60, focusing on art. 12, nominated by the department head, until the end of the group's activity.

Elisa Marchetti

Elisa Marchetti
Social media

Elisa Marchetti, after her Italian musical training, completed the Master of Arts in Music Performance and Master of Arts in Music Pedagogy "cum laude" at the Hochshcule der Künste Bern, specializing in bass clarinet. She currently teaches at the Musikschule Brittnau and Aarberg and regularly gives instrumental courses and seminars on the physiology and psychology of breathing in Italy, Switzerland, and Germany.


Salvatore Frammartino

Salvatore Frammartino is an ecletic musician who plays the clarinet in any kind of formation from duo to orchestra; he deals with writing, transcribing and arranging music as well. Founder of the International Basso Clarinet Association ( together with Stefano Cardo. Based in Milan, he teaches clarinet at middle school.



The project's numbers

The numbers below may cange due to new findings or discoveries


Total works

This is the amount of actually known
works. The first aim of the project is to rediscover forgotten composition.


Published works

The project is against illegal
reproduction of printed works
supporting the on-line market.


Out of catalog

Many rediscovered gems are
on libraries shelves. The project
will support brand new publication

Category Amount %
Solo25,71 %
with Piano1851,43 %
Duo12,86 %
Trio38,57 %
Quartet12,86 %
Quintet12,86 %
Sextet38,57 %
Septet25,71 %
Octet12,86 %
Nonet12,86 %
Soloist & Orchestra12,86 %
Soloist & Ensemble12,86 %
Mostrati inserimenti (filtrato da voci totali)

Project history

From the birth of the idea to its realization


Thomas Aber's dissertation

For his DMA at University of Missouri, Thomas Aber wrote the dissertation "A history of the bass clarinet as an orchestral and solo instrument in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries and an annotated, chronological list of solo repertoire for the bass clarinet from before 1945".
Thomas Aber also collected from Biblioteque National de France several of the scores listed in the dissertation.


C.I.R.C.B. aquisition

The International Bass Clarinet Research Center, in agreement with Thomas Aber, freely redistributed the dissertation for educational purposes.


Music listing

C.I.R.C.B. started to upload to its catalog all the works and texts included on Aber’s list.


Project definition

Stefano Cardo, in connection with Thomas Aber, started the project to collect and record all the music written for bass clarinet from before 1956.


Music recording

Stefano Cardo and Thomas Aber, along with Ruta Stadalnykaite, Robert Pherigo and Pietro Paquini, did some recording sessions to record tracks for the first release.


New partner

Balthasar Hens joined the project, donating some recordings.

January 2019

Project launch

The project moved to a more mature stage, opening to sponsors and involving new contributors. "Toward the Empyrean Heaven" is the new name of the project.

April 2019

New researcher

Jean-Marie Paul, world renowned for his research in clarinet history and repertoire, joined the project, becoming member of the Scientific Committee.

May 2019

New website and First recording

The project has his own brand-new website where all compositions will be displayed with full information, along with links to recordings and scores.

The recording is the first of a set which will include all the works in the catalog.

September 2019

First Campus

First educational component of the project has been realized in Pontedera (Italy).

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