I. For the Money... II. For the Show...
III. To Get Ready...
IV. Go Cat, Go!
The Sonata for Bb Clarinet and Piano is a 10 minute work cast in four
short contiguous movements which borrow their titles from a catch
phrase popularized by Carl Perkin’s opening lyrics to “Blue Suede
Shoes.” The movement titles were added after the work was
completed but are seen by the composer as a fitting expression of the
showy style and character of the piece. The mixture and blending
of cross-cultural idioms is central to the composition as a
whole. The work makes heavy use of the split Major/minor 3rd as a
unifying device appearing in each of the four movements amidst
otherwise contrasted thematic and stylistic elements. The
brief opening movement morphs through several very diverse rhythmic and
harmonic styles with the tempo of the16th note being the underlying
constant. The second movement overlays modal harmonies in
the piano part with an intense ‘bluesy’ melody played by the
clarinet. A solo cadenza for movement three serves as a bridge
combining motivic and thematic elements from each of the earlier
movements and anticipating the fourth and final movement.
The boisterous finale is a slightly indulgent detour into the
pseudo-ethnic world of the modern Balkans.
Sonata for Bb Clarinet and Piano was commissioned by and written for Cynthia
Doggett with support from the Iowa Arts Council. The premiere
given at Central College, Pella, Iowa on Sunday, October 9, 2011.