"A very moving and mature piece of music that requires a sophisticated level of musicianship to perform it successfully. In my estimation, one of the greatest pieces of the genre. The opening movement is a tour de force. The opening melody is haunting and melancholic. The second movement is freer and more rhythmic.
Technically, this piece is very challenging and requires virtuoso playing from both the clarinettist and the pianist. The piano has an equal role and is not subjugated in importance to the clarinet.
This piece is best played on an A clarinet rather than a B flat clarinet. The sonata is also worth examining from a compositional point of view. It's construction is unusual and novel.
In all, I totally love this piece of music. It deserves to be heard much more than it is. "
"I love this piece of music, it is COMPLETELY English! (and i am Welsh!), the way the composer has blended in both clarinet and piano, probably the best musical partners. When i first began to play this piece i was playing it on the B flat clarinet, until i was having a lesson with Thea King and she informed me on how the piece is best played on the larger and more mellow A instrument. i now see why - the piece is much richer and velvety in sound and does reach notes that go beyond the range of the B flat instrument - and sound better for it !
I think that this is a piece to be on every clarinettists music shelf; a piece like this - of such English romantic quality should not be forgotten as much as it has. I give this piece a 5 star quality rating."
By: James Brookmyre
"I played this in my undergrad 3rd year performance recital. It is exceptional...brooding, melancholic, rhythmically vital. I agree that this piece should be heard more often. B.T.W., my favourite recording is by Dame Thea King. Even if British Clarinetists can't articulate and produce a half decent staccato; her tone and musicianship resound."