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SONATA + Online Audio

SONATA + Online Audio

(1 reviews)  
Printed Edition
Composer:Bernstein, Leonard (1918-1990)
Instrumentation:cl. pft.
Publisher Ref:M051105656
This two movement sonata is the only piece that Bernstein wrote for solo woodwind and was perhaps composed with an eye to the popularity of the clarinet due to the prominence of players like Benny Goodman. It was Bernstein's first published composition.

Price: £24.99
Skill Level:D
Publisher:Boosey & Hawkes Ltd
Year of Issue:2011
ISBN:none specified
Leonard Bernstein graduated from Harvard University in 1939 and after further study of the piano, conducting and orchestration at the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia and at Tanglewood, he was appointed Assistant Conductor of the New York Philharmonic at the age of 25. He was soon much in demand internationally, conducting in London, Prague, Tel Aviv and at La Scala in Milan and beginning a lifelong advocacy of American music, particularly the work of Aaron Copland with whom he remained a close friend. Bernstein's first large scale composition was his Symphony No.1 "Jeremiah" of 1943 which he premiered with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra the following year. Two more symphonies and a varied catalogue of other works would follow including "Prelude, Fugue and Riffs" (1949), "Chichester Psalms" (1965) and the "Missa Brevis" (1988) but Bernstein is probably best known for his work for stage and screen, notably the 1957 musical "West Side Story".

The Sonata for clarinet and piano was started in Key West, Florida in September 1941, where Bernstein was on holiday and listening to Radio Havana - Cuban rhythmic influence can be detected in the sonata - and finished the following February in Boston. It was first performed on 21 April 1942 at the Institute of Modern Art, Boston when the clarinettist David Glazer was accompanied by the composer. Bernstein's treatment of the clarinet forshadows his writing for the instrument in later orchestral works. The first of the two movements is restrained but raises questions about tempo which are fully discussed by Todd Levy in his introductory "Thoughts on Playing the Sonata". The second movement is more characteristic of Bernstein and more personal and it is here that the influence of Cuban rhythms can be heard with great changes of mood within the 5/8 meter and the transition in and out of it.

  • I Grazioso
  • II Andantino

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Average customer rating:
(1 reviews)  

1 Most useful customer reviews (see all reviews):
Sheila Bloomfield
Jul 23, 2020
(Verified customer)
Great piece of music. On line audio not easy to access
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