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Lesser-Known Clarinet Sonatas and Where to Find Them

When most people think of clarinet sonatas (which most people don't think of at all), Brahms, Poulenc, and Saint-Saëns are what usually come to mind due to their widespread recognition. These are great pieces of music that deserve continued performance and recognition. However, most people probably don't think of composers such as Guastavino, Bax, and Hindemith, who created equally captivating compositions for the clarinet. Given the more limited original repertoire available for the clarinet compared to instruments like violin or piano, great pieces of music are harder to come by, and each new piece makes a huge difference. Despite the challenges of finding quality original compositions for the clarinet, there are many wonderful sonatas that have either fallen out of consideration or have yet to achieve the attention that they deserve. I've taken the time to list a few of my personal favorites from said list below, along with where to find sheet music and recordings.

Felix Draeseke - Sonate für Clarinette oder Violine mit Pianoforte, Op. 38 (1887)

Sir Arnold Bax - Sonata for Clarinet and Piano (1934)

Paul Hindemith - Sonate für Klarinette in B und Klavier (1939)

Carlos Guastavino - Sonata para Clarinete y Piano (1970)

Marc Eychenne - Sonate pour clarinette basse et piano (2015)

Michele Mangani - Sonata per clarinetto e pianoforte (2016)

While this list is not intended to be comprehensive, I hope that it is a helpful start, and I will periodically update it with new pieces and information. If you have more sonatas that you want to suggest, or questions about the ones mentioned here, feel free to contact me.

Some links on this page are "affiliate links", which earn me a small commission on any sales using the link. This doesn't cost you money or sell your data, and it helps pay for the costs of hosting this website and purchasing sheet music like what I reviewed above. I do not, and will not, accept payment for "positive only" reviews. Any commentary is strictly my personal opinion. You can read my full Review Policy for more details.

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