Moderato con moto; Tempo di marcia, Cadenza, Pastorale
This piece has its origins in a half-finished Suite for clarinet and piano which I began and abandoned in 1966. Much later, in 1982, my dear friend Linda Keller asked me if I had written a clarinet piece that she could perform in recital. I resuscitated the dusty manuscript and promised I would try to pick up the strands where I left off and attempt to finish it — this, despite the rather drastic change which my musical language had undergone during the intervening sixteen years. I believe I succeeded in returning to an earlier style and completing this piece as a fairly cohesive whole; at least I don't believe the seams are too obvious.
I should also point out that the piece is unabashedly modeled after the Sonata for Bassoon and piano by Paul Hindemith; the overall form of the first movement uses the opening movement of the Hindemith Sonata as a fairly slavish template. Similarly, I also patterned the last movement after Hindemith by casting it in the form of a March and Pastoral. If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then my admiration for Hindemith's music is manifest in this Sonatina.