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Malcolm Arnold Clarinet Sonatina Pdf 18

Malcolm Arnold Clarinet Sonatina PDF 18

The Sonatina for Clarinet and Piano, Op. 29, is a three-movement work composed by Malcolm Arnold in 1951. It is one of the most popular and frequently performed pieces in the clarinet repertoire, and it showcases Arnold's characteristic blend of lyricism, humor, and virtuosity.

Background and Composition

Malcolm Arnold (1921-2006) was a British composer, conductor, and trumpet player who wrote music in various genres, including symphonies, concertos, ballets, operas, film scores, and chamber music. He was influenced by jazz, folk music, and the English musical tradition, and he had a knack for writing catchy melodies and colorful orchestration.


Arnold composed the Sonatina for Clarinet and Piano in 1951 for the clarinetist Frederick Thurston, who premiered it at the Wigmore Hall in London on June 12, 1951, with the composer at the piano. The work was dedicated to Thurston's wife Thea King, who was also a clarinetist and later became one of the foremost interpreters of Arnold's music. The sonatina was published by Lengnick in 1952.

Structure and Analysis

The sonatina is divided into three movements: Allegro con brio, Andantino, and Furioso. The total duration of the work is about 10 minutes.

  • The first movement, Allegro con brio, is in sonata form and opens with a lively theme in B-flat major that contrasts with a lyrical second theme in G minor. The development section explores various keys and modulations, and the recapitulation returns to the original themes with some variations. The movement ends with a coda that recalls the opening theme.

  • The second movement, Andantino, is in ternary form (A-B-A) and features a calm and expressive melody in E-flat major that is accompanied by gentle chords in the piano. The middle section (B) introduces a new theme in C minor that is more agitated and chromatic. The A section returns with some embellishments in the clarinet part, and the movement closes with a peaceful cadence.

  • The third movement, Furioso, is a rondo (A-B-A-C-A-B-A) and displays Arnold's sense of humor and virtuosity. The main theme (A) is a fast and furious melody in B-flat minor that alternates between 6/8 and 3/4 meters. The first episode (B) is a playful waltz in D-flat major that mocks the main theme. The second episode (C) is a slow and solemn march in F minor that parodies the funeral march from Beethoven's Eroica Symphony. The main theme returns after each episode with some changes, and the movement ends with a presto coda that brings the sonatina to a brilliant conclusion.

Performance and Reception

The sonatina has been widely performed and recorded by many clarinetists around the world, such as Emma Johnson, Julian Bliss, Michael Collins, Richard Stoltzman, Sabine Meyer, Martin Fröst, Sharon Kam, and others. It has also been transcribed for other instruments, such as saxophone, flute, oboe, violin, viola, cello, string quartet, wind band, and orchestra.

The sonatina has been praised for its musical craftsmanship, expressive range, and technical challenges. It is considered one of Arnold's masterpieces and one of the finest examples of British clarinet music in the 20th century.


  • [Free Sonatina For Clarinet And Piano by Malcolm Arnold sheet music]

  • [Malcolm Arnold Sonatina for Clarinet and Piano]

  • [Browse: Arnold - Sonatina for Clarinet and Piano]


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