Dennis Kam


2004   |   c. 13 min

For clarinet and piano

Sonata for Clarinet and Piano (2004)

Sonata for Clarinet and Piano (2004) is one of several versions of the same basic work. It is a one-movement work that is a descendant or ‘relative’ of Sonata that was originally conceived and completed for solo piano in 2002, commissioned by pianist Amy Tarantino. Due to an interest in creating multiple-version works, the solo piano version also became a work for piano and string quartet (2003). A request from Ms. Tarantino and clarinetist Dimitri Ashkenazy encouraged this version for clarinet and piano. Other subsequent versions include one for clarinet, cello, and piano (2004) and a 2005 quartet version (Sonata Ibis) with an added violin, recorded by the Ibis Camerata and released on the Albany label.

While instrumentation is a clear and obvious difference between versions in the large sonata structure – the character, temporal flow, and energy of each version also change significantly with the addition or subtraction of instruments, giving each version a different character. Where the version for solo piano is the leanest and temporally spacious, Sonata for Clarinet and Piano is probably more dramatic and complex because of the interaction between instruments.


Dennis Kam