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Work Title
Sonata for Clarinet
Composed in 1933.
Ensemble Type
Work Length
6 minutes
For solo clarinet.
This work is in three chromatic movements: “Vivace,” “Lento,” and “Vivace,” and was composed while Cage was in Los Angeles. Its third movement is a retrograde canon of the first, although not rhythmically. Octave transpositions are used. Sonata for Clarinet is a typical early example of Cage’s work, being rhythmically complex and non-metrical. Cage makes free use of short motives, repeating and varying them throughout. The second movement sounds very close to serial music, but Cage never used this method of composition.
Peters Edition EP 6753