Originally conceived as sonata for oboe d’amore and piano, this work was re written in 2008 in response to a request for a clarinet sonata at very short notice. It became immediately evident that this version (for clarinet in A) was superior and was given many performances as well as being recorded a few years later. A part for clarinet in Bb is also included for flexibility.
From the rippling piano at the opening, the first movement has a sense of urgent secrecy. Sudden outbursts are immediately reined back in until it melts into a more lyrical center section. Gradually an undercurrent of tension creeps back leading to a return of the opening mood. The Allegro con spirito middle movement with its wide ranging dynamics, quirky rhythms and heartbeat piano bass line continues this conspiratorial mood: a continual tumbling forward momentum finalising with snippets of the first movement piano figuring. A plaintive, slow last movement completes this sonata, the beautiful lyric ability of the clarinet shown to its best in the two outer sections. Sandwiched between, a brighter, rhythmic middle section with ‘neo baroque’ counterpointbetrays the oboe d’amore origins of this piece. Crazy juxtapositions of 4 against 3 tumble back into the opening material which in turn reduces to a single unison note between clarinet and piano.