Sonata for Clarinet and Piano
A four-movement sonata
based on the Symphonic Suite for orchestra (1990)
Premiered February 2, 2019
by Lea Steffens, clarinet and Ron Levy, piano.
Recorded by Franz Pusch
The main theme was composed while accompanying modern dance classes in Idyllwid, California, where I was in residence.
I often improvised material for the classes, and this
one seemed worth developing into a larger scale work.
II. Soft Breeze Over Moonlit Lake
The Zen-like title reﬂects the peaceful serenity evoked by the music. Like a Koan, there is ambiguity here, particularly in its tonality. Q: where is the key center ... A: yes.
This movement owes some its rustic “danceyness” to Beethoven's
6th symphony. And the idyllic yet wild surroundings of Idyllwild naturally played a part, developing on long woods through the tall woods.
The ﬁnal movement starts a little “pastoral-ish”, but soon erupts
into a volcano of intensity. In terms of instrumentation, one does
miss here the lambastic timpani of the original.