Clarinet Sonata No. 1 in F Minor, Op. 120, 1st movement

Clarinet Sonata No. 1 in F Minor, Op. 120, 1st movement

Clarinet Sonata No. 1 in F Minor, Op. 120, 1st movement

Johannes Brahms

Sharon Kam's masterclass

Produced by the Saline royale Academy English Music sheet annotated by  Sharon Kam  is available 43 min Clarinet

This clarinet masterclass with Sharon Kam and her student Jakob Plag covers solo and accompaniment dynamics, phrasing, and more.

Produced by the Saline royale Academy

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The masterclass

About this masterclass

In this masterclass for clarinet, Sharon Kam highlights the importance of knowing and understanding the piano section as well as the clarinet solo part in Brahms' Sonata No. 1.

According to Kam, the piano section in the beginning of the first movement has more substance and thus, the clarinet player must understand when their role is secondary. Likewise, when the piano has thematic material, the clarinet should create colors through dynamics to support the piano without overpowering it.

Other elements discussed include phrasing and playing naturally. 

 

 

What we learn in this masterclass

  1. Understanding the relationship between piano and clarinet.

  2. Adding dynamics and color.

  3. Upholding the beauty in the simplicity of this piece. 

  4. Producing an "open" sound.

  5. Phrasing. 

Clarinet Sonata No. 1 in F minor, Op. 120 by Johannes Brahms

Brahms composed both of his clarinet sonatas in 1894, after hearing clarinetist Richard Mühlfeld perform in Meiningen. Enthralled by the performer’s expressive capabilities on the instrument, Brahms dedicated the sonatas to him. They have now become two of the most commonly performed works for clarinet. Sonata No. 1 in F minor is known for its expressive lyricism.

The first movement, Allegro appassionato, opens with piano chords before the clarinet introduces the lyrical opening theme, later contrasted by a more marcato second theme. The piano and clarinet switch roles throughout the movement, vacillating between presenting thematic material and acting as accompaniment or decoration. The second movement, Andante un poco adagio, is in ternary form. The first and last sections explore a sweet melody mainly in the clarinet, while the middle section is a little more upbeat, accompanied by moving sixteenth notes. The third movement, Allegro grazioso, is a gentle waltz, while the fourth movement, Vivace, is a delightful rondo filled with dynamic and expressive contrast.

  • Date:14 April 2021
  • Producer: Produced by the Saline royale Academy
  • Duration:43 min
  • Spoken language:English

Sheet music

Aim for excellence! You can improve your skills with expert advice. Download the annotated sheet music of this clarinet masterclass. Please note that this piece has been annotated in accordance to Sharon Kam’s feedback and comments.

Sheet music clarinet sonata no. 1 in f minor, op. 120, 1st movement

Sharon Kam

Sharon Kam

Won the 1992 ARD Music Competition in Munich.

Sharon Kam is one of the world’s leading clarinet soloists, and has been working with renowned orchestras in the United States, Europe, and Japan for over 20 years. At the age of sixteen, she performed Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto in her orchestral debut with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra and Zubin Mehta. Shortly afterwards, she performed the Clarinet Quintet with the Guarneri String Quartet in Carnegie Hall, New York.

As a passionate chamber musician, Sharon Kam regularly works with artists such as Lars Vogt, Christian Tetzlaff, Enrico Pace, Daniel Müller-Schott, Leif Ove Andsnes, Carolin Widmann, and the Jerusalem Quartet. She is a frequent guest at festivals in Schleswig-Holstein, Heimbach, Rheingau, Risør, Cork, Verbier, and Delft, as well as the Schubertiade festival. An active performer of contemporary music, she has premiered many works, including Krzysztof Penderecki’s Concerto and Quartet, and concertos by Herbert Willi (at the Salzburg Festival), Iván Erőd and Peter Ruzicka (at Donaueschingen).

Sharon Kam feels at home in a variety of musical genres – from classical to modern music and jazz. This is reflected in her diverse discography. She received the ECHO “Instrumentalist of the Year” award two times: in 1998, for her Weber recording with the Gewandhaus Orchestra of Leipzig and Kurt Masur, and in 2006, for her CD with the Leipzig Radio Orchestra featuring works by Spohr, Weber, Rossini, and Mendelssohn. Her American Classics CD with the London Symphony Orchestra, conducted by her husband Gregor Bühl, was awarded the Deutsche Schallplattenkritik Prize. In 2013, she released a recording entitled Opera! This collaboration with the Württembergisches Kammerorchester, conducted by Ruben Gazarian, includes transcriptions of operatic arias ranging from Rossini and Puccini to Wolf-Ferrari, arranged for clarinet and chamber orchestra. The release was accompanied by an inaugural tour.

During the season 2019-2020, Sharon Kam performed in concert halls including the Wiener Musikverein; a portrait concert at the Elbphiharmonie, the Vienna and Munich Chamber Orchestras, the Staatskapelle Halle, the Saarländischen Staatsorchester, the Hungarian National Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Szczecin Philharmonic Orchestra. In September 2019, her Trio album recorded with her long-term partners Ori Kam and Matan Porat, was released.

Brahms

Johannes  Brahms

Born in Hamburg, Germany on May 7, 1833, Johannes Brahms was the son of musician Johann Jakob Brahms. Johannes Brahms began his musical education learning the piano, cello, and horn. From the age of 7-years-old, he studied the piano under Otto Friedrich Willibald Cossel.

Composer, pianist, and conductor, Brahms began his career at the end of the classical tradition (approx. 1730-1820) and established himself as a central figure in classical music’s Romantic era. His first concert tour took place in 1853 where he built a deep camaraderie with fellow musician, Robert Schumann.

His first major work presented to the public was Concerto No. 1 for piano and orchestra in D minor, which was performed by himself in Leipzig in 1859. In 1863, he moved to Vienna, where he was appointed conductor of Singakademie (Singing academy), which he would leave only a year later.

By 1868, Brahms achieved fame throughout Europe for the premiere of his renowned work German Requiem. Other notable works by Brahms include but are not limited to: Piano Concerto No. 1 in D minor, op. 15, Variations and Fugue on a Theme by Handel, op. 24, Piano Quartet No. 1 in G minor, op. 25, Cello Sonata No. 1 in E minor, op. 38 Symphony No. 1 in C minor, op. 68, Violin Concerto in D major, op. 77 Symphony No. 3 in F major, op. 78 Symphony No. 4 in E minor, op. 98, and Cello Sonata No. 2 in F major, op. 99 Quintet with Clarinet in B minor, Op. 115. Brahms has been lauded for his deep understanding of formal construction and his rendering of melodic richness, harmonic complexity, and his mastery to achieve a myriad of moods and atmosphere.

Johannes Brahms passed away on April 3,1897, in Vienna.

Photo credit: Fritz Luckhardt

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