Hommage à Manuel De Falla

Hommage à Manuel De Falla

Hommage à Manuel De Falla

Ernest Chausson

Sharon Kam's masterclass

Produced by the Saline royale Academy English Music sheet annotated by  Sharon Kam  is available 45 min Clarinet

Sharon Kam and Elias Rodriguez address elements of traditional Spanish music, phrasing, and more in this masterclass.

Produced by the Saline royale Academy

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The masterclass

About this masterclass

Professor Sharon Kam helps student Elias Rodriguez capture the spirit and freedom of expression in Bela Kovacs’ Hommage à Manuel De Falla. Kam discusses the different sounds the clarinet must produce during this piece, such as the imitation of trumpet calls or the Spanish guitar. She works with the student to achieve greater contrast between these sections and find the right quality of sound by producing a rounder sound with more ‘ring’ in it. Kam also illustrates the importance of freedom in this music, especially during points such as the written in fermatas or the cadenza-like material. She encourages the student to vary the timing and tempo, so that the listener never knows what to expect. She also suggests the performer choose a tempo that is slow enough that all the notes can be heard with clarity, and take breaths that aid rather than detract from the musical pacing and expression.


What we learn in this masterclass 

  1. Creating contrast in the color, sound quality, and dynamics in different sections.

  2. Pacing and varying the timing to make the music sound more free.

  3. Choosing a tempo that allows clarity of technique. 

  4. Controlling breathing in a way that feels natural to the music.

  5. Producing a full, ringing sound.

Hommage à Manuel de Falla by Bela Kovacs 

Hungarian clarinetist and composer Bela Kovacs wrote a series of nine short pieces for solo clarinet, each of which is written in the style of an influential classical composer. Initially intended as studies for his students, they have now become staples of the unaccompanied clarinet repertoire. This short, three-minute work is an homage to renowned Spanish composer Manuel De Falla, whose work was often influenced by Spanish folk music. Hommage à Manuel De Falla incorporates a flamenco influence and evokes the spirit of several instruments; the opening resembles a brass instrument’s fanfare or hunting call, while later, the clarinet’s quick arpeggiated notes almost sound like a Spanish guitar. 


  • Date:16 April 2021
  • Producer: Produced by the Saline royale Academy
  • Duration:45 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 hommage à manuel de falla

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.


Ernest  Chausson

Béla Kovács was born in 1937 in Hungary and studied under György Balassa at the Liszt musical academy in Budapest for 5 years between 1951 and 1956. Upon graduation, he joined both the Hungarian State Opera and the Philharmonic Orchestra of Budapest as First Clarinet and remained there until his retirement in 1981. Béla Kovács wrote several Études pieces for clarinet, a set of homages written in the style of famous composers, with the aim to help young musicians play all kinds of styles and techniques. His compositions remain used to this day and are widely popular. Kovács married ballet dancer Adél Orosz in 1962 and stayed with her until he died in 2021. He toured and recorded extensively, and was a well-established musician, teacher, and composer.  


Photo credit: Béla KOVÁCS

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