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By Ron Levy

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Clarinet, Piano - Level 5 - Digital Download
Composed by Ron Levy. 20th Century, Classical, Contemporary. Score and part. 1 pages. Thinkling Music #5732411. Published by Thinkling Music (A0.1024002).

Item Number: A0.1024002

The Clarinet Sonata is a reworking for piano and clarinet of my Symphonic Suite, composed while in residence at Idyllwild Arts Academy in the late 1980s. The piece has a joyful exuberance reflecting my happiness at the time – happy to be living in the mountain forest, and to be working, independent from the academic environment which had been my home for the previous decade. *** I. Fanfare – In Idyllwild I accompanied dance classes — and usually improvised. I would watch the instructor and try to capture the exact feeling and energy required to support the dancers in whatever movement they were up to. Occasionally, if I liked a tune, I would write it down*. This movement is built from one of those dance class melodies. *(At the end of my time there I had a plastic file box full of these memorable sketches. Still have it too.) The first movement material has been significantly developed and extended from the orchestral version — it is almost triple the length of the original, containing material and ideas which emerged in the subsequent years. II. Soft Breeze Over Moonlit Lake (8’20”) The Zen-like title reflects the peaceful serenity evoked by the unfolding music. The first phrase is like a kōan, too: a questioning phrase. Some questions may be answered here; others are left unanswered as the tonally ambiguous ending fades to nothing. III. Pastorale (11’45”) is a dance, almost a toe-tapper, displaying, as in the first movement, a decidedly “eastern European” tonal inflection. (The movement owes its title to Beethoven's 6th symphony, also entitled Pastorale and depicting country folk engaged in playful revelry.) “Tutti” statements alternate with a recurring shepherd’s call on the clarinet, exclaiming “yoo-hoo; I’m over here!”. This tutti-solo back and forth continues through descending key centers, all in good fun and quite jovial. But then “yoo-hoo!” becomes “uh oh!” – signaling possible troubles? Ah no – the earlier sunny mood returns, and all ends well … (we shall see about that in the 4th and final movement…) IV. Finale (14’55”) The rustic dance “amusements” of the previous movement seem to continue, but now in a duple meter. The evening has grown late and the circle grown smaller as the boy and girl dancers take their turns displaying their fancy moves and showing off to each other. There is a mysterious halt to the activity, which soon resumes. The whirls and repeats continue but then … another mysterious halt. When the dancing appears to once again resume, the festivities are abruptly interrupted by a new firm declaration with energy and faster tempo of repeating chords melding into a simple descending line. That line becomes a low register “passacaglia” – upon which several layers are added as it repeats … this layered “canon” finally gives way to a hypnotic “ostinato” figure which gradually fades away into the mists of time...

This product was created by a member of ArrangeMe, Hal Leonard’s global self-publishing community of independent composers, arrangers, and songwriters. ArrangeMe allows for the publication of unique arrangements of both popular titles and original compositions from a wide variety of voices and backgrounds.

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