for B-flat clarinet and piano(2015)
|Commission||Commissioned by Richie Hawley for Music Academy of the West, with support from the Shepherd School of music, Rice University|
|Premiere||July 7, 2015; Music Academy of the West, Santa Barbara, CA; Richie Hawley, clarinet • Conor Hanick, piano|
My Clarinet Sonata came about as a result of Richie Hawley and I becoming colleagues and friends at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music in Houston. Immediately after coming to Rice, Richie performed my Clarinet Trio (clarinet, violin, and piano) on the Da Camera series in Houston, and we talked about collaborating on a clarinet sonata. And here is the result.
The piece is in three contrasting movements. The first movement, a kind of short prelude, begins with high energy trills and soon after, the piano provides a motoric repeated note figure with a special timbre – a muted string inside the piano, over which the clarinet provides angular motives. In a nod to sonata form, there is a short contrasting, more lyrical theme, but ultimately, the initial music takes over again.
The second movement is mostly quiet stillness and features timbral trills and alternate fingerings for the clarinet while maintaining its lyrical nature. The third movement contains virtuosic music for both clarinet and piano, and there is a short cadenza-like passage toward the end before both instrumentalists converge again and race to the end.
- Pierre Jalbert