By GLENN DISNEY
Style: Solo, Sonata, Clarinet Solo with Piano
Difficulty: Grade 6
ABOUT THE PIECE:
The Sonata for Clarinet and Piano was written for Sac State clarinet major Shannon Burton, was first performed in April 2008, and is in a traditional 3-movement format.
The first movement, an Allegro, utilizes a lot of moving ascending chromaticism with phrasing that splits the measures, giving the piece a sense of continually moving forward. Nearly the full range of the clarinet is used, from low written F# to a double high G. The piano accompaniment is somewhat Hindemith-ian in its approach, but is contrasted by the lyrical clarinet line.
The second movement, a ballad, is quite lyrical in both parts yet still fairly chromatic, presenting a feeling of longing as the clarinet line slowly works its way up the register from a written Middle C to a double high E, then back down again and dropping below Middle C a few times and ending somberly.
The third movement is lively and in 5/8 meter, and still harmonically chromatic. Giving the feeling of a dance with a hiccup, the fast paced solo line provides more technical challenge for the clarinetist. The ascending running line at the end is reminiscent of the ending of the opening movement.