Laura Armstrong, clarinet/saxophone



A Mutual Influence: Selected Solo and Chamber Works for Clarinet by Students of Paul Hindemith

Laura Dawn Armstrong, Doctor of Musical Arts, 2010

Dissertation directed by: Dr. Michael Votta, University of Maryland School of Music

Paul Hindemith (1895-1963) composed many solo and chamber works for clarinet, and most are standard works in the clarinet repertoire. It may be interesting to many clarinetists to know that many of his students have done the same. Many of these works are largely unknown to most clarinetists and would greatly add to their repertoire. The goal of this dissertation is to discuss some of these works written by his students, and to introduce these composers to clarinetists. While in no means does this imply that he was the only person they studied with, or that he controlled everything they ever wrote, this serves as a new way of looking at some more recent music that has been written for the clarinet.

For the purpose of this dissertation, I avoided some of the more studied works such as Leonard Bernstein's Sonata for Clarinet and Piano, or some of the more familiar works by Bernhard Heiden or Norman Dello Joio. Although I chose to include chamber music, more than just clarinet and piano, I chose to limit this to two pieces. It does not take long upon listening and studying the music to discover that these works share many common traits. Many of the works use neo-classical forms, like those written by Hindemith, but many share similar harmonic structures. In other words, they sound like Hindemith.

The works performed and discussed in this dissertation are the following: Violet Archer - Sonata for Flute, Clarinet in A, and Piano; Samuel Adler - Canto XIV (A Klezmer Fantasy for Clarinet); Howard Boatwright - Suite for Clarinet Alone; Arnold Cooke - Sonata in B-flat for Clarinet and Piano; Emma Lou Diemer - A Quiet, Lovely Piece for Clarinet and Piano; Alvin Etler - Sonata for Clarinet and Piano; Lukas Foss - Three American Pieces; Harald Genzmer - Capriccio für Zwei Klarinetten, Fantasie für Klarinette, and Sonate für Klarinette und Klavier; Paul Hindemith - Concerto for Clarinet; Ulysses Kay - Pantomime Fantasy; Willson Osborne - Rhapsody for Clarinet; Alan Shulman - Rendezvous for Clarinet and Piano; Ruth Schonthal - The Bells of Sarajevo.

For scholarly inquiries only, please contact me for a full PDF of my dissertation.