Sonata for Clarinet and Piano

Sonata for Clarinet and Piano


Click the links below to see and hear each movement.

1. Incitation
2. Elegy
3. Scherzo

SKU: FM1148 Category:


The Sonata for Clarinet and Piano by Rob Hall is a dynamic and expressive modern work for the advanced clarinettist, that makes equal demands of both soloist and pianist. Written in the conventional three-movement form, the music is by turns restless, rhythmic, lyrical and atmospheric. The haunting central movement is flanked by dynamic and often virtuosic music in the outer movements. The work is fundamentally classical in its presentation but does absorb some elements of contemporary jazz too. Completed in 1990, the Sonata was first performed shortly afterwards by the composer at RNCM Concert Hall, Manchester. Movements two and three were later rebranded as Elegy and Scherzo, and recorded on their album Rhyme or Reason (FMR 2009) by Rob Hall with pianist and composer Chick Lyall, with support from the Scottish Arts Council. Rob Hall was born in 1969 in Solihull, England and has lived in Scotland since 1999. This Sonata is dedicated to the composer’s father Kenneth, a keen supporter of new music who initiated many commissions throughout his musical life.

Jean Johnson – Clarinettist writes of this sonata:

Using a modern musical language that incorporates jazz harmonies and rhythms, Rob Hall’s Sonata for Clarinet & Piano gives both players plenty of opportunities for personal expression and brilliant virtuosic displays.

“Incitation” opens vigorously with ominous percolating energy followed by contrasts of expressive calm.

In “Elegy” the piano sets up an introspective mood after which the clarinet sings its expressive soaring lines.

“Scherzo” is playful and energetic with lots of syncopated rhythms and makes use of the entire range of the clarinet. This joyful movement provides both players with opportunities to shine.

I’m especially drawn in by the lush sonorities throughout this Sonata. I love the energy of the driving rhythms contrasted by long expressive lines, and the buoyant jazziness in the last movement makes this piece a delight to play.

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