Happy Valentine’s Day!
To celebrate, I’m sharing 14 beautiful pieces of music which feature the clarinet. Listen to these to fall even more in love with the clarinet!
- Rachmaninoff Symphony No. 2, movement 3. Words can’t express the beauty of this solo, so go have a listen and be prepared to swoon.
- Tchaikovsky Symphony No. 6, movement 1. Another heart-wrenchingly beautiful display of the clarinet’s ability to tug at our heartstrings!
- Berlioz Symphonie fantastique, March to the Scaffold. This is a literal love theme, sung by the clarinet right before the guillotine strikes.
- Tchaikovsky Francesca da Rimini. Tchaikovsky tugs at heartstrings like no other, and he certainly chose the best instrument to express this.
- Mozart Clarinet Concerto, Adagio. Tbh this entire piece is absolute perfection, but the second movement always takes my breath away (especially when I’m performing it).
- Schumann Fairy Tales, Op. 132 movement 3. This is one of my favorite chamber pieces for clarinet, and this movement is heavenly. (You can listen to my performance of this here.)
- Strauss Don Juan. Simple and sentimental, this melody is absolutely gorgeous.
- Brahms Clarinet Sonata No. 2, movement 1. Contrasting the drama of Brahms’ first sonata is the autumnal and nostalgic tenderness in this piece.
- Baermann Adagio for clarinet and strings. Wagner got the credit for this beauty for a while, but Baermann’s elegant phrasing is simply sublime.
- Mangani Romanza for clarinet and piano. Quietly poignant, this short piece is aptly titled.
- Saint-Saëns Sonata for clarinet and piano, Op. 167, movement 1. This simple melody is timeless and tender.
- Copland Clarinet Concerto, movement 1 and cadenza. This is my favorite clarinet concerto, and the beginning creates such a dazzling atmosphere.
- Bruch Eight Pieces for clarinet, viola, and piano, Op. 83, movement 3. Again, it’s difficult to choose specific movements, but this one has always struck me with a sense of quiet determination and passion.
What clarinet pieces are you listening to this Valentine’s Day?