Lesser Known Masterpieces for Clarinet

by Mitchell Estrin

All clarinetists need to study and perform the great masterworks by Mozart, Weber, Schumann, Brahms, Nielsen, Copland, and the great wealth of "standard" repertoire. These works are famous and beloved for good reason!  This being said, there are also a number of wonderful solo works for clarinet that somehow have escaped the mainstream radar screen. These works will also bring the performer rich musical rewards and are definitely worth exploring. 

In no particular order, here are 20 of my favorite lesser known masterpieces for clarinet, representing a wide variety of styles and nearly two centuries.

Julius Rietz - Concerto, Op. 29 

Theodore Gouvy - Sonata, Op. 67 

Ferrucio Busoni - Concertino, Op. 48 

Aleksander Manevich - Concerto (out of print but worth finding) 

William Alwyn - Sonata 

Norbert Bergmuller - Duo, Op. 15 

Arnold Bax - Sonata 

Edwin York Bowen - Sonata 

Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco - Sonata, Op. 128 

Ferdinand David - Introduction and Variations, Op. 8 

Thomas Dunhill - Phantasy Suite, Op. 91 

Juraj Filas - A Little Slovak Rhapsody 

Carlos Gustavino - Sonata 

John Ireland - Fantasy Sonata 

Gustav Jenner - Sonata 

Daniel Gregory Mason - Sonata, Op. 14 

Armando Ghidoni – Nocturne & Sicilienne 

Nino Rota - Sonata in Re 

Antoni Szalowski – Sonatina 

Mieczyslaw Weinberg - Sonata, Op. 28

Each of these works is very worthy of consideration for study and performance. I hope you enjoy exploring these wonderful lesser known compositions.

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