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Topic: Clarinet Sonata, massively revised after premiere

  1. #1

    Clarinet Sonata, massively revised after premiere

    I had the pleasure of hearing my clarinet sonata performed this past week, however, over this last summer I had grown dissatisfied with certain aspects of the work and had already started reworking many of its elements, both structural and instrumental.

    After the premiere, and after speaking with the soloist (François Lebrun), I decided to apply those changes I had been considering.

    The most important changes occur in the Scherzo (2nd movement), where I actually cut out nearly 50 measures of music. Most of the other changes involved altering the register of the clarinet part.

    At the premiere, I realized that the piece was far too demanding right off the start, with an excessive use of the extreme high register. I found my soloist exhausted, and barely a third of the sonata had been played yet.

    Most of the other changes involved giving more break-time for the soloist to breath.

    It remains a "virtuoso" sonata, but at least now, GPO isn't the only virtuoso capable of performing it

    So without further ado, here is the new and (hopefully) improved version of

    Sonata, opus 35, for clarinet and piano

    Part 1 (Preludium and Scherzo)

    Part 2 (Nocturne and Tiento)

    Part 3 (Arioso and Ronde)

  2. #2

    Re: Clarinet Sonata, massively revised after premiere

    I'm sorry, for some reason, the forum isn't letting me correct the errors in the links, so here are the links once more:




  3. #3

    Re: Clarinet Sonata, massively revised after premiere


    Really great writing. The interplay between piano and clarinet
    is amazing; so well constructed. Loved the last resonating chord
    in Sonata (1). Rendering was as "live" as I've heard for piano and
    clarinet. So well done, Michel.

    Very interesting clarinet solo parts in Sonata (2). Awesome reality
    in the clarinet performance (piano too). I especially like your
    accompaniment figures in this one too. You have complete control
    to say what you want to say Michel. Awesome performance. Loved
    the change of tempo and contrapuntal work half-way through (2).
    Really changes the mood. Very fresh and energetic. Dreamy chord
    structure at the end of (2).

    Piano intro in (3) is outstanding. Almost Debussy-like.......Great
    clarinet entrance. Once again, a great tempo change and shot of
    energy at the half-way point. Both piano and clarinet really move
    out. So well engineered, Michel. Great post-climactic lines in both
    instruments. Super ending in (3).

    What can I say, Michel. This Clarinet Sonata is one of the best
    I have ever heard. Very well written and performed. Would enjoy
    hearing it performed "live."

    BRAVO, BRAVO, Michel

    Jack Cannon--MacBook Pro (2015, 13") GPO4/5, JABB3, Auth. STEINWAY, YAMAHA CFX, Gofriller CELLO, Stradivari VIOLIN, COMB2, WORLD, HARPS, PIPE ORGANS, FINALE 25.5, DORICO 1.2.10, Mac Pro 2.66 GHz CPU, 8 GB RAM, DP 9.51, MOTU Traveler, MOTU Micro Express, MacBook Pro (2012, 13") 2.2 Ghz CPU, 8 GB RAM.

  4. #4
    Senior Member fastlane's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Shelton, Washington State

    Re: Clarinet Sonata, massively revised after premiere

    Now this is serious music! I'm in awe of your compositional skills. It makes me think of some of the music I hear on St Paul Sunday or better.

    I guess living composers have a tough time competing with the masters but your music deserves attention. I can hear lots of hard work.


  5. #5

    Re: Clarinet Sonata, massively revised after premiere

    Many congratulations on the performance of this truly oustanding
    work, Michel. To my mind, this easily ranks among the finest
    modern major works in the genre.

    Probably more to the point, I absolutely love it.. lol! And
    tightening down that Scherzo was probably a most worthwhile

    Again, I cannot but unreservedly say: Bravo!

    This is work that will endure time's tests... that they'll still
    be playing at the dawn of the next century, my friend.

    Always my best,

    David Sosnowski

  6. #6

    Re: Clarinet Sonata, massively revised after premiere

    Thank-you Jack, Phil, and David.

    This is "one of those pieces"... it's my baby, the one I'm proud of.

    I've actually been spending a bit of time re-imagining it as a violin sonata. If I can get the Strad to do its double-stops, I'll post the violin version as well. It's like hearing a new piece in the string version.

  7. #7

    Re: Clarinet Sonata, massively revised after premiere

    Hi Michel,
    I agree with David.

    This is a marvelous solo for clarinet. I enjoyed especially the dialogue between the two voices as they interacted throughout the work. I did not hear (must have missed it) the original, but this piece is masterful.

    If I played clarinet, I know I would want to give this a try. I think my brother would be a "go" for this work being a fine clarinetist himself.

    Congratulations on a masterful work.

    Best Regards,
    We dream to write and we write to dream.

    Challenge #10 Winner

  8. #8

    Re: Clarinet Sonata, massively revised after premiere


    It always amazes me how well you get a notation program to work.

    I just got tired of all that work in Sibelius and use Sonar to do all of that fine tuning.

    A hearty Well done

    "Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one." Albert Einstein


  9. #9

    Re: Clarinet Sonata, massively revised after premiere

    Thank-you Ron and Bill.

    Surprisingly, I tried a sequencer at one point, and found it was FAR too much work to get it to sound the way I wanted! I actually found that, since I know Finale so well, it's just easier for me to use the little tricks of the trade to get it to play back my scores.

    Wait until you hear the next incarnation of this sonata...

    I've been working like a madman for the last few days, reworking it into a sonata for violin! So my Strad is getting a work-out.

    And it's amazing just how much Finale can do with the Strad if you set up your expressions and articulations correctly.

    I'm already thinking that this sonata works far better on the violin than on clarinet. I'll post both versions and let you people decide.

  10. #10

    Re: Clarinet Sonata, massively revised after premiere

    Looking forward to it!
    We dream to write and we write to dream.

    Challenge #10 Winner

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