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I have created this site in order to provide performers, listeners and composers with a description of a composer's experiences with the creative process. The posts will provide discussions of the inspirations, challenges, and successes of a composer from the inception of the piece to the culmination in performance. I will provide a link to where you can see and hear the works in progress. Comments and questions are always welcomed. They will not posted unless you grant me permission.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Sonata for Clarinet 1st Movement

I am back posting after a three days of trying solve problems associated with updating the operating system on my MAC. I anticipated things would take awhile, but nothing like I experienced. The new operating system is going to be great as it enables me to run both Windows and OS X on my computer. One of the things I hope to accomplish is being able to print 11X17 booklets directly from my computer to my photocopier. What I didn't anticipate was the lack of compatibility between the new OS X and my software. For example, my MIDI interface driver needs to be updated but M-Audio hasn't updated it yet for Leopard. It is in the works, but for the meantime, my keyboard can't enter notes into Sibelius! Fortunately I had recently bought an Oxygen 8 MIDI Controller for composing while traveling and that works fine. One lesson I learned is to wait until something new is out 6 months before purchasing it. That way supportive technologies have a chance to get caught up.

I have completed the first movement of the Sonata for Clarinet and Piano that I am transcribing and adapting from my Sonata for Viola and Piano. In addition to changing the slurs and adjusting the range as needed, I made two other changes. The first was to put the notes of the pizzicato triple stop in measure 86 into the piano right hand. I tried arpeggiating these notes for the clarinet in various rhythms, but was not pleased with the effect. The second change was with the next to last measure. The viola stays on one pitch, which worked for viola because the repeated notes crescendoing drove nicely to the end. I felt that it did not work as well for clarinet so I move the notes around a bit. I first tried a descending scale, but that ran in parallel fourths to the piano and sounded weak. I then tried an ascending scale. That had a good drive, but I really wanted a descent at the end. That lead me to what I wrote which had elements of drive and descent.

When I wrote the Sonata for Viola, I was conscious to use a lot of the lower register of the viola so that the piece sounded like a viola sonata and not a violin sonata played on viola. I kept that quality in the transcription using a lot of the low and middle registers of the clarinet which gives the piece a dark rich quality. The use of the upper register is reserved for climaxes and special colorations.

It is also interesting to revisit an earlier work to see how I constructed the piece. The first movement is a sonata form. The slow introduction is not directly related thematically to the allegro, but it does set a flavor for the use of fourths and fifths and wandering tonality of the movement. The first allegro theme is more agitated than the lyrical second theme. A transition sets up the 2nd theme by ending on the opening motif (m. 49 & 50)of the 2nd theme which begins at M. 54. The development section develops both themes. The recapitulation enhances the melody slightly on the return.

The score I am posting has the clarinet part transposed.

To see and hear what is discussed, go to http://www.cooppress.net/sonataforclarinetblog.html

Dr. B

1 comment:

Candace said...

Interesting to know.