's Clarinet Sonata
dates from 1962 and is one of the last pieces he completed. Because Poulenc died before the piece was published, editors have had to guess as to the identity of some notes, as well as missing dynamics and articulations.
The piece is dedicated to the memory of Arthur Honegger. Its premiere was given at New York City's Carnegie Hall by Benny Goodman and Leonard Bernstein on April 10, 1963, three months after the composer's death.
The composition is in three movements
- Allegro tristamente (Allegretto - Très calme - Tempo allegretto)
- Romanza (Très calme)
- Allegro con fuoco (Très animé)
The structure differs from the fast-slow-fast pattern of a traditional sonata in that the first movement is itself split into three sections in the pattern fast-slow-fast.
A typical performance will last around 13 minutes.
The sonata is the second of Poulenc's three sonatas for wind instruments, the others being the Flute Sonata (1956) and the Oboe Sonata (1962).