Hi Mr. Friedland!
I’m a senior in high school who has played the clarinet for five
years. I’m preparing to enter the ARTS Recognition and Talent
Search and I need some help selecting repertoire.
One of the requirements is to play a composition by a 20th century
American composer. I have the Bernstein Sonata … but I don’t
really want to play it. Do you have any suggestions?
So far, I’ve decided to play a Rose etude (to cover the
requirement for an etude or unaccompanied work) and the last
movement of the Mozart Concerto. I need one more piece and the
20th century composition … and I’m stuck!!!
If you could help me, it would be GREATLY appreciated. Much
PS: my band director mentioned that she thinks Benny Goodman
composed a piece. Do you know of any such composition?
Thanks for your question about repertoire for the ARTS
competition. There will be many recommendations that I will
include in this response; however I also wonder WHAT it is you
“don’t like” about the Bernstein. It is not the piece itself, only
your negative choice that is of interest to me. For you to know
why you will not choose that work is important in your
development. The knowledge for you is more important than the
choice you make.
Other 20th Century Composition by American composers you may wish to try:
• Pastoral for Clarinet (A Clarinet and piano) by Elliott Carter.
• Sonata for Clarinet and Piano by Aaron Copland, arranged
by Copland from the Violin Sonata … and better on the
• Sonata for Clarinet and Piano by Vincent Persichetti
• Sonata for Clarinet and Piano by Benjamin Guttierez
(composed for me, written while a student at the New England
Conservatory and now published)
• and the Bernstein.
They are all difficult for the piano, and the Bernstein perhaps
the most difficult. There are also a great many composers living
now who write music for clarinet. A person whom you may wish to
Mr. John Bavicchi 26 Hartford Street Newton Highlands,
He has a clarinet handbook which he will send you which has
everything from solo works to the Sonata for Clarinet. Do write to
him. It is always a great idea to perform music written by
composers living NOW.
That is a few pieces. As for the other piece required, you may
wish to look at the Hindemith Clarinet Sonata, the Two Brahms
Sonatas, the Schumann works, and many others.
I hope that this has been of some help to you and to your search.