50 Pieces Every Clarinetist Should Know

One of the best parts about playing the clarinet is the wonderful repertoire written for the instrument. From classical to jazz (and every genre in between), there will never be a shortage of great clarinet music.

The plethora of clarinet repertoire can be overwhelming, so I’ve compiled a list of 50 pieces that every serious clarinetist should know. Hopefully, you will have the opportunity to perform many of these pieces during your clarinet careers. In the meantime, it’s important to recognize these pieces and to know about their history and significance within the clarinet repertoire.

Most of these scores can be accessed via the IMSLP (International Music Score Library Project) Petrucci Music Library online, and with services like YouTube, you have no excuse NOT to know these pieces!

So grab a coffee, pull out your scores, and get to listening!


Solo, Concerto, Sonata

  1. Bernstein – Sonata for Clarinet and Piano
  2. Brahms – Sonata No. 1 in f minor, Op. 120, No. 1
  3. Brahms – Sonata No. 2 in E-flat major, Op. 120, No. 2
  4. Copland – Concerto
  5. Debussy – Première rhapsodie
  6. Francaix – Concerto
  7. Hindemith – Sonata
  8. Mozart – Concerto in A Major, K. 622
  9. Nielsen – Concerto, Op. 57
  10. Poulenc – Sonata for Clarinet and Piano
  11. Rossini – Introduction, Theme and Variations
  12. Saint-Saens – Sonata, Op. 167
  13. Schumann – Fantasy Pieces, Op. 73
  14. Stravinsky – Three Pieces
  15. Carl Stamitz – Concerto No. 3 in B-flat major
  16. Weber – Concertino, Op. 26
  17. Weber – Concerto in f minor, Op. 73
  18. Weber – Concerto in E-flat major, Op. 74

Chamber Music

  1. Béla Bartók – Contrasts, Sz. 111, BB 116
  2. Beethoven – Trio in B-flat major, Op. 11
  3. Beethoven – Septet in E-flat major, Op. 20
  4. Brahms – Trio in A minor, Op. 114
  5. Brahms – Quintet in B minor, Op. 115
  6. Mendelssohn – Konzertstück No. 1 in F major, Op. 113
  7. Mendelssohn – Konzertstück No. 2 in D minor, Op. 114
  8. Messiaen – Quatuor pour la fin du temps
  9. Mozart – Kegelstatt Trio in E-flat major, K. 498
  10. Mozart – Quintet in A major, K. 581
  11. Poulenc – Sonata for Two Clarinets
  12. Schubert – Shepherd on the Rock, D. 965
  13. Schumann – Fairy Tales, Op. 132
  14. Stravinsky – l’Histoire du Soldat
  15. Weber – Quintet in B-flat major, Op. 34

Orchestral

  1. Bartók – The Miraculous Mandarin, Op. 19, Sz. 73 BB 82
  2. Beethoven – Symphony No. 4 in B-flat major, Op. 60
  3. Beethoven – Symphony No. 6 in F major, Op. 68
  4. Beethoven – Symphony No. 8 in F Major, Op. 93
  5. Brahms – Symphony No. 3 in F major, Op. 90
  6. Brahms – Symphony No. 4 in E minor, Op. 98
  7. Gershwin – Rhapsody in Blue
  8. Kodály – Dances of Galánta
  9. Mendelssohn – A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Op. 61
  10. Prokofiev – Peter and the Wolf, Op. 67
  11. Rachmaninoff – Symphony No. 2 in e minor, Op. 27
  12. Ravel – Daphnis et Chloé
  13. Respighi – Pines of Rome
  14. Rimsky-Korsakov – Capriccio espagnol, Op. 34
  15. Rimsky-Korsakov – Sheherazade Op. 35
  16. Shostakovich – Symphony No. 9 in E-flat major, Op. 70
  17. Stravinsky – Firebird

Here is a printable checklist with these 50 pieces, along with space for you to add your own pieces to the list.

Leave a comment below with any pieces you think every clarinetist should know!

For even more suggestions, check out my 50 More Pieces Every Clarinetist Should Know.

18 thoughts on “50 Pieces Every Clarinetist Should Know

  1. The Martinu Revue de Cuisine is lots of fun. I’d also add Martinu’s Sonatina for clarinet and piano. Both are challenging but worth the effort. And Muczynski’s Time Pieces are good for advanced students. There’s so much repertoire! It’s fun to grow a list if favorites. Great blog Jenny.

  2. All very good. I have played a fair majority if these but will start to collect these so I can practice them. Is it possible to put thus list in a downloadable format

    1. Thanks John! I’ve just created a printable checklist, which you can open at the bottom of the article or access on my Resources page.

    1. Thanks for reading! The Weber Grand Duo was thisclose to making the cut, but I left it off to keep this list to 50 pieces. It’s definitely equal to his other clarinet works, so I’ll have to include it in Part 2!

  3. THE list is very conservative and does not recognise either musical quality or technical variations. Surely the Berg 4 pieces should be there instead of one or two other dubious works, as should be the Two Studies of Egon Wellesz. Also the chamber music list is simply ridiculous in its conservative brevity. while all the works are definitely worth knowing and performing one has to ask-given the list as it stands–“to what end?” One learns repertoire to also expand the musical awareness and empathy for interpretative development.

    1. Thank you for the feedback! I’ve chosen these pieces based on their historical significance and importance within the clarinet repertoire. Admittedly, it was difficult to narrow my list to just 50 pieces, and I’m glad to have opened a conversation about the important clarinet works. The Berg and Wellesz are both great pieces, and I’d be interested in reading your list to see your suggestions.

  4. Hello, I find the list very interesting !!! I think of my Latin American mind as two fundamental works of the Latin American repertoire, which I believe today are already part of the universal repertoire:
    Guastavino – Clarinet Sonata
    Marquez – Zarabandeo
    Maybe in another 50!! 😉

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