Sonata (for clarinet and piano)
The Sonata for clarinet and piano combines many of the traditional formal aspects of the classical sonata genre with some more recent musical trends and languages and exploits many of the coloristic and virtuosic qualities of the clarinet and piano as individuals and as an ensemble.
The work is in three movements each exploiting a different musical style characteristic while sharing common motives and themes:
The first movement, marked Driving, in moto perpetuo, is a highly charged, rhythmically driven movement in sonata form.
The second movement (Etherially) is a much slower, more peaceful movement.
The final movement is much lighter in mood than the previous two. Marked Playfully, the movement alternates between a modulating one-measure motive and jazzy passages complete with walking bass lines and written out “improvisations” (derived from material from the first two movements) for the clarinet.
The Sonata for clarinet and piano is the second of a series of three works commissioned by and composed for Deborah Bish.