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Price £9.50

A short three-movement 'characteristic' sonatina composed for Double Bass 2000 and premiered at Wells Cathedral School. Aimed at the intermediate bassist, this is a work full of lyrical episodes and utilises the medium-high range of the instrument.

The composer writes: 'My Sonatina, a brief frivolous piece, was partly written to exploit the range of the double bass, both its lower and upper reaches. The first movement is in strict sonata form - exposition, repeat and all. The second movement is tongue-in-cheek 18th-century form; the sonatina is a very 19th-century form. Its main theme turns up again as the middle section of the final movement, a tiny waltz. Other snatches of material are common to all three movements.'

"Several Recital Music pieces that I have reviewed recently have been well written for moderately advanced students who are capable of basic thumb position. These works have also possessed a level of musical sophistication generally uncommon to works for that level of bassist - and Sonatina is another welcome addition to this genre.
The composer refers to the works as a 'brief frivolous piece'. While the Sonatina may be frivolous, and certain elements parody traditional 18th and 19th century musical formulas, the music is not trite.
It is a three-movement work, following the traditional fast-slow-fast model, and is unified by the playful inclusion of thematic material from the first movement in the second and third movements. The first movement is in sonata form, with all the necessary characteristics of that form - in the space of 48 bars. It is marked by lively rhythmic interaction between the double bass and piano. The second movement is truly lovely, with a constant Alberti bass in the piano, which somehow resists sounding hackneyed, and it accompanies a simple, lyrical tune played by the double bass. Clucas concludes the piece with a third movement that is a charming little waltz. A particularly nice touch is the return of an instantly recognisable four-note motif from the first movement in the last bar.
Appealing and clever, this piece is sure to be an enjoyable inclusion in many studio recitals by young bassists. Students will gain valuable aural experience by performing a piece that uses modern harmonic language in such a beguiling way." (Double Bassist)

1st mvt - Grade 7 Trinity-Guildhall exam

Performance Level: 7;8

Humphrey Clucas was born in 1941 and read English at King's College, Cambridge, where he was also a Choral Scholar. Having taught English for twenty-seven years he subsequently became a Lay Vicar at Westminster Abbey but is now retired.

As a composer he is self taught, and although he is well-known for a set of Anglican Responses written as an undergraduate, almost all his serious music has been written over the last twenty-five years. He has a growing reputation as a choral composer and has produced an impressive and steady stream of choral works, both sacred and secular, alongside much instrumental music. He has written works for Cathedrals in Chichester, Guildford, Salisbury and Winchester, as well as for King's College, Cambridge, Southwell Minster and Westminster Abbey.


  • Andante con moto
  • Moderato-Allegro
  • Presto

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Cat No. RM295
Price £9.50
ComposerHumphrey Clucas
CategoryDouble Bass & Piano
Difficulty level7 - 8
ISMN 979-0-57045-295-8
EAN-13 9790570452958
Weight 82 grams
Published 3rd November 2008
Availability 6 in stock
See also...
RM066  Suite for Double Bass
RM703  Concert Solo (Air in C)