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By Etta James

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String Quartet - Advanced - Digital Download
By Etta James. Arranged by Helen Marple-Horvat. Score, Set of Parts. 18 pages. Published by Helen Marple-Horvat (H0.458905-45040).

Item Number: H0.458905-45040

‘At Last’ was composed by Mack Gordon and Harry Warren for the musical ‘Sun Valley Serenade’ in 1941. It was recorded by Glenn Miller and his orchestra, becoming a chart hit in 1942, and in 1960 by Etta James, who was subsequently inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame. The song is a frequent wedding favourite for quartets.

If you would like to watch a video of a professional quartet playing my arrangement on Youtube, look up my channel by typing Skinny Black Dogs-Capriccio Quartet-At Last.

This version of the song is for a professional/advanced quartet, as the opening is tricky for the first violin. However, most of the double stopping includes open strings for at least one of the notes. I have spread the melody across each member of the quartet so that everyone has their place in the sun! As a cellist myself, I know that my part can sometimes be a bit dull, so the cellist gets a lot of the tune! In the solos I have sometimes tried to approximate the feel of jazz by precisely notating the rhythms, but realistically I think it is better for each player to listen to different versions of the song and to play it,to some extent, by ear in order to feel the syncopation. It needs to have a ‘rubato’ melody, but with the accompaniment as a rock solid 12/8 beat, albeit with an emphasis on the ‘off beat’ which I have notated with an accent. I also recommend grace notes and glissandi to enhance the bluesy mood.I think Capriccio Quartet does this beautifully!

As well as this version for Quartet, I also have another arrangement of the song in the same key for String Quartet and Female Singer. You can find it uploaded to Sheet Music Press, and is recorded by Capriccio Quartet with my daughter singing.The accompanying parts are almost identical, but each player has more double stopping in the Quartet version. It is in the same key. Have fun and post me any recordings. I can be found on Facebook very easily. 

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