Sonata Cover/First Page

Michael Riddall (Dedicatee)

Michael Riddall (Dedicatee)
Brief Video on YouTube

David Ferré (webmaster) and Michael Riddall (2017)

Gervase DePeyer and
Gwenneth Pryor
(Clarinet and Piano)

Janet Hilton (Clarinet)

Peter Frankl (Piano)

Krzysztof Zbijowski (Clarinet)

Maciej Grzybowski (Piano)

Maciej Grzybowski (Piano) and
Julian Paprocki (Clarinet)

October 27, 2010
Performance in Warsaw

Krzysztof Zbijowski in conversation after the October 27, 2010 performance

6th Krakow Festival of Polish Music, November 6, 2010 review by Malgorzata Czech (in Polish)

Sonata for Clarinet and Piano (1959) - Opus 1
This webpage provides information about the André Tchaikowsky Sonata for Clarinet and Piano - Opus 1. Scroll down to learn more about this composition and for several performances, including the world premiere performance with André Tchaikowsky, piano, and Gervase DePeyer, clarinet.

(2017) Sonata for Clarinet and Piano in Concert
This video performance is from a PhD recital by Polish pianist, and champion of André Tchaikowsky music, Gabriela Glapska. The clarinetist is Harim Oh. The venue is the recital hall at the New Zealand School of Music, Victoria University, Wellington, NZ, and was recorded on May 5, 2017.

Gabriela Glapska (piano) - Gabriela Glapska was born in Poland and began her piano studies at the age of seven. In 2006 she began her higher musical education under the tutelage of Professor Ewa Poblocka in Feliks Nowowiejski Academy of Music in Bydgoszcz where she graduated with the highest distinction receiving her Master’s Degree in 2011. Also, in 2011 she was selected in an academy internal competition to perform a concerto with an orchestra in the Bydgoszcz Philharmonic Hall and she gave a debut in the Pomeranian Philharmonic playing Andrzej Panufnik’s Piano Concerto. During her studies, she participated in many competitions both for solo and chamber musicians and she won many prizes. She also participated in many international music festivals and master classes conducted by prominent professors such as: Andrzej Jasinski, Ekaterina Popowa-Zydron, Aleksey Orlovetsky, Mikchail Voskresensky, Kevin Kenner, Andrzej Tatarski, Maciej Grzybowski, Monika Sikorska-Wojtacha, Martin Hughes, Waldemar Wojtal, Tomoko Mack. After graduating from the University, she worked as an accompanist in Bydgoszcz Academy of Music. Gabriela is currently pursuing the PhD degree in piano performance from Victoria University of Wellington. She has performed in Poland, Germany, Slovakia, Belarus and New Zealand.

Harim Oh (clarinet) - Harim Oh began his piano studies at the age of 5 and clarinet studies at the age of 7. Concentrating on the clarinet in Auckland, NZ, his studies were complicated by a move to Alexandra, where no suitable clarinet teacher was available. This resulted in monthly trips to Dunedin for lessons and, later, lessons via Skype. Then, in 2013, Oh, at age 16, received a discretionary entrance to Victoria University alongside a New Zealand School of Music scholarship and headed to Wellington to study, before completing high school. At the age of 18, Oh won the New Zealand National Young Performer of the Year Award and was a semifinalist at the Gisborne International Music Competition, where he was awarded the Prof Jack Richards Woodwind Player Award. With 2017 being the last year for Oh at Victoria University, his future plans include possible studies at the Paris Conservatoire in France and the Kungliga Musikhögskolan in Sweden. Although Oh has inspiration within classical music, his top three favourite bands are strictly rock: AC/DC, the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Metallica.

(2015) Sonata for Clarinet and Piano in Concert
The Uniwersytet Muzyczny Fryderyka Chopina in Warsaw presented a concert on October 26, 2015 that featured the Andrzej Czajkowski composition, Sonata for Clarinet and Piano. The performers were pianist Maciej Grzybowski and clarinetist Julian Paprocki. Click Here for the program.

(2014) Sonata for Clarinet and Piano in Concert
From a performance by the Qaartsiluni Ensemble of May 5, 2014.

Qaartsiluni Ensemble Concert

BORBÉLY László | piano
ROZMÁN Lajos | clarinet
PETO Anna Ildikó | Staging, lights, titles
SEBOK György | Video

May 5, 2014
Trafó House of Contemporary Arts
Budapest, Hungary

Click Here or image for YouTube Link

(2014) Sonata for Clarinet and Piano in Performance
A performance of the The Sonata for Clarinet took place on October 23, 2014 at the Teatr Wielki - Polish National Opera in Warsaw, Poland. This is first in the 2014-2015 series of concerts called "Concerts of Composers - Premieres." Click Here to learn more about the concert from the Teatr Wielki website. The performers were pianist Maciej Grzybowski (website) and Julian Paprocki (website) clarinet.

Click Here for a PDF of the concert (24 pages).

Concert Program Back

Concert Program Front

(2014) Lajos Rozmán and László Borbély - Experimental Gladiators
Members of the Qaartsiluni Ensemble performed the Sonata for Clarinet and Piano in concert on May 5, 2014 at the Trafó Theatre Hall (Budapest, Hungary). The featured musicians were Lajos Rozmán clarinet and László Borbély piano.

Qaartsiluni Ensemble Concert

BORBÉLY László | piano
ROZMÁN Lajos | clarinet
PETO Anna Ildikó | Staging, lights, titles
SEBOK György | Video

May 5, 2014
Trafó House of Contemporary Arts
Budapest, Hungary

Click Here or image for YouTube Link

Conductor/Clarinetist Lajos Rozmán graduated from the Budapest Academy of Music in 1994, with additional studies at the Conservatoire de Musique in Geneva. Rozmán also conducts and performs at the Arcus Temporum Music Festival where he currently holds the position of festival musical advisor. Click Here for a festival YouTube.

Pianist László Borbély received his Doctorate from the Liszt Academy (2014) and has been praised for his "great virtuosity." One review included: "Borbely's execution of Ligeti's Sixth Etude was stunning ...and... his rendition of Bela Bartok's seldom-performed Sonata (1926) was absolutely amazing, memorable and moving."

Concert photographs (Photos: Anna Ildikó Peto)

Use the player below to hear this performance. (No player? Update your browser.)

(2014) "Chamber Music with Piano" Conference
A featured work performed at the "Chamber Music with Piano" conference on April 6, 2014, was the Sonata for Clarinet and Piano. The performers were Ryszard Alzin piano and Piotr Zawadzki clarinet.

Alzin Ryszard (piano) was born on October 21, 1991 in Warsaw and began piano studies at the age of 7 with Prof. Hanna Sawicka. At the age of 16, he was a prize winner in piano competitions in and around Poland, including first prize winner of the Szymanowski Piano Competition in Warsaw. Ryszard is particularity well known as the pianist for the "Starry Night Concerts," which take place at The Heavens of Copernicus Planetarium of Copernicus Science Centre (Warsaw).

Piotr Zawadzki (clarinet), born in 1988 in Warsaw, began his clarinet education with Jerzy Czyran at the age of 10. In 2011 he graduated with honours from the Fryderyk Chopin University of Music in Warsaw and spent the following 2 years (2011-13) studying under the direction of Michel Lethiec at the Conservatoire National à Rayonnement Régional de Nice, France. A prize winner in several competitions, Zawadzki is especially interested in contemporary repertoire and techniques.


Ryszard Alzin

Piotr Zawadzki

(2013) Leeds Symposium and Concert
André's biographer, Dr. Anastasia Belina-Johnson, who is also a Head of Classical Music department at Leeds College of Music and a member of LUCOS (Leeds University Centre for Opera Studies), organized a concert on André Tchaikowsky's birthday (November 1st, 2013) dedicated to his compositions (he would have been 78 years old). Featured was Sonata for Clarinet and Piano (1959) played by pianist Nico de Villiers and clarinetist Janet Hilton.

Janet Hilton - November 2013

Played both Arioso e Fuga per Clarinetteo Solo and Clarinet Sonata Opus 1 (with pianist Nico de Villiers) in concert on November 1, 2013. Learn More about the concert.

Learn More (pdf file) or Learn More (Blog) with this interview between pianist Nico de Villiers and Janet Hilton.

Click Here (pdf) to read Nico de Villers' comments on André Tchaikowsky.

(2013) Warsaw Concert at Wilanów Palace
The Sonata for Clarinet and Piano was presented in concert with Maciej Grzybowski piano and Julian Paprocki clarinet. The music from this concert appears on the this webpage (below). The Polish clarinet virtuoso, Julian Paprocki (born 1993), has already blazed an extraordinary career for such a young age. Performing both classic and contemporary works, Julian finds André Tchaikowsky's Clarinet Sonata of particular interest and has kindly provided the following comments about his sonata performance. Interestingly, his clarinet teacher was Krzysztof Zbijowski, whose performance of the Sonata also appears on this webpage (below).

"My first performance was like some kind of magic door opening, and now, over time, I'm understanding more and more. Under the layers of logic, intellect, inspiration, potential and freshness, there is an enormous abundance of ideas. The form of the work is interesting, generally in one movement but with a multitude of developments. It's amazing and there aren't so many compositions out there where your can change the interpretation based on your emotions, and it never comes out boring. Do I like this masterpiece? Yes! To me it's one of the most interesting pieces in the 20th century clarinet literature."

(2010) 2010 Celebration Performances
In celebration of the 75th Anniversary of the birth of André Tchaikowsky (Andrzej Czajkowski) (November 1st, 1935), two sonata performances were given in October 27, 2010 (Warsaw) and November 6, 2010 (Krakow) by Krzysztof Zbijowski (Clarinet) and M
aciej Grzybowski (Piano).

Of the November 6, 2010 concert, Malgorzata Czech wrote for

Andrzej Czajkowski music was his fate - full of pain and loneliness. It is also music very well throughout and composed with mathematical precision. Polyphony is a dominant texture of this music of pain and loneliness, which could tear apart the soul of the listener, plus it put enormous technical requirements on the performers. Yesterdays monographic concert at the Jagiellonian University’s Collegium Novum brought a level of performance equal to the level of Andrzej Czajkowski's composing skills - Masterful.

Pianist Maciej Grzybowski, in collaboration with clarinetist Krzysztof Zbijowski, played the Sonata for clarinet, capturing perfectly the dynamics of the sonata form in this performance.

(1966) Sonata for Clarinet and Piano, Opus 1, World Premiere Performance
In this recording, André Tchaikowsky plays the piano and Gervase DePeyer is on clarinet. Below, Gervase DePeyer (left) and André Tchaikowsky (right) in 1964 (Photo Credit, Judy Arnold Photographic Archive). Click images below for a larger view.

This performance was recorded off a BBC3 radio broadcast by W. H. Troutbeck, who made a master shellac recording and then used the master to press a number of LP vinyl copies. Mr. Troutbeck made two sets of copies from the original shellac recording. On the image below, left, was a label from the May 24, 1967 pressing; right, was a label from the June 17, 1968 pressing.

These label images were sent to me by, left, Carsten Schmidt, who found the recording in a Munich, Germany flea market, and, right, Paul Fris, who found the recording in the attic of a colleague, in Amsterdam, Netherlands. I am very grateful to Carsten and Paul for taking the time to share these images. The recordings themselves are in the Andrzej Czajkowski Archive in Warsaw Poland (left) and in the Andrzej Czajkowski Archive in USA (right).

Click Here for an mp3 file of this performance.

While there are no professional recordings available for the Sonata for Clarinet and Piano, Opus 1, several recordings are available, including the following four recordings: André Tchaikowsky (piano) and Janet Hilton (clarinet); Carol Archer (piano) and Gervase DePeyer (clarinet); Maciej Grzybowski (piano) and Krzysztof Zbijowski (clarinet), and then Maciej Grzybowski (piano) and Julian Paprocki (clarinet). The work is in a single movement in sonata form with a free recapitulation.

1. André Tchaikowsky, Piano - Janet Hilton, Clarinet (1973)


2. Carol Archer, Piano - Gervase DePeyer, Clarinet (1987)
(Thanks to John Pope for cleaning up this file.)


This performance is on YouTube. Click Here.

3. Maciej Grzybowski, Piano - Krzysztof Zbijowski, Clarinet (2010)


4. Maciej Grzybowski, Piano - Julian Paprocki, Clarinet (2013)


Music Publisher
This work is published by Josef Weinberger and appears in their catalog of André Tchaikowsky published works. Click Here for a PDF copy of the André Tchaikowsky Weinberger catalog.

From the biography The Other Tchaikowsky
André wrote the Sonata for Clarinet and Piano, Opus I, for Michael Riddall. In this composition the clarinet portion gives the appearance of being more difficult than it really is. The first performance of the clarinet sonata was given by Gervase DePeyer, clarinet, and André Tchaikowsky, piano, on July 4, 1966, for a BBC broadcast. Both the publishing of the Sonata and the BBC performance were at the urging of DePeyer. Judy Arnold remembers:

"Gervase pushed André to submit his Sonata for Clarinet and Piano to the BBC for broadcast. In the end, it was Gervase who submitted it, and when it was accepted, André ran away and said he didn't want to do it, that he couldn't play the piano part. Gervase insisted, and it was all right in the end, but only after a terrible hoo-ha."

A tape was made of the broadcast and de Peyer sent it to music publishers, Josef Weinberger urging them to publish the work. They agreed and, in late 1969, it became André's first published composition. Weinberger remained André's publisher for all of his works, except for the "Inventions," Opus 2, which was published by Novello, but later assigned to Weinberger.

Niall O'Loughlin, the Musical Times music critic for newly published woodwind scores, described the Sonata for Clarinet and Piano, Opus 1, work in March, 1970:

A Sonata for Clarinet and Piano by the pianist André Tchaikowsky will come as a surprise to many people. It is an unassuming, but well written work of only moderate difficulty. Most of the musical interest is melodic, with some debt to Bartok. There is no piano bravura, but carefully imagined and sustained contrapuntal thinking.

Another review for newly published scores in Musical Opinion in March, 1970:

André Tchaikowsky's Opus 1 is now ten years old, but it carries its age very well. It is in one movement, dominated by a single theme which, at first, looks serially-based, but is not. It is presented in changing patterns, both rhythmic and melodic, and is thoroughly developed in both instruments. Performers should find it mutually rewarding.

Subsequent performances of the Sonata for Clarinet and Piano include BBC performances with Janet Hilton, clarinet, and Peter Frankl, piano, on June 17, 1973; and and third BBC performance with Janet Hilton, clarinet, and André Tchaikowsky, piano. The first live public performance didn't occur until October 27, 1985 when it was presented at Wigmore Hall as part of the Josef Weinberger Centenary Concert Series, with pianist Julian Jacobson and clarinetist Anthony Lamb. Gervase DePeyer played it on January 14, 1987, at Merkin Hall in New York City, with pianist Carol Archer, and in London, on February 12, 1987, with pianist Gwenneth Pryor.

For the New York performance on January 14, 1987, Bernard Holland wrote in the New York Times:

Clarinet: Gervase DePeyer

Wednesday night's curious collection of clarinet pieces at Merkin Concert Hall had a common denominator - their personal associations with the featured performer, Gervase DePeyer. Mr. DePeyer arranged the sonatas by Handel and Schubert and has given the premieres of all the other items on this program except one. Of the newer pieces, André Tchaikowsky's Sonata for Clarinet and Piano was impressive for its sustained and tightly argued contrapuntal thinking. Carol Archer, pianist, was an excellent partner in all this music, especially in the Tchaikowsky piece.

A musical description of the work is provided by music publisher Josef Weinberger:

A quiet, meditative opening explores the upper and lower reaches of both instruments' range: this is the first subject. The second subject is a brisk and rhythmical theme announced first by the clarinet, then taken up by the piano. A subsidiary theme follows a short cadenza and proceeds to develop the phraseology of the second theme, with anacrusic semi-quavers and wide intervallic movement. With the return of the broad and expansive first subject the development section commences; however, the accompaniment now highlights the melody by shifting from lively static octave embellishment to flurries of movement. The clarinet eventually joins the piano in a frenetic exchange over pedal points on A flat, and C sharp (the enharmonic tonic, though the work is not in any particular key). The recapitulation is fairly free in construction and includes a short solo section for the piano which ruminates on the first subject. The sonata closes with the clarinet becoming less apparent amidst the piano's singing melodies and ringing chords.

Additional material below provided by and approved by Michael Riddall, from his work, "My Life Story:"

I met André Tchaikowsky who was considered to be probably the greatest pianist of his generation by his contemporaries whom I also got to know, such as Alfred Brendel, Fou T'song, James Galway and the Amadeus Quartet. I became first his lover, then his protégé at the Royal College of Music, then his personal secretary. It was a stormy but intensely rich experience to know him, a truly exceptional genius who not only had the proverbial ability to memorise and reproduce at the piano whole orchestral scores after one hearing and produce at his best performances of an incandescence that those who heard them said they had never heard matched, but also had a wide and deep knowledge of English, French and Russian Literature and a demonic sense of humour and mischievousness.

He was Polish Jew; mother gassed when he was two, hiding in cupboards during the war, rescued by his grandmother and later living with his aunt [Mala] in Paris, with whom I stayed for three months at one point. I felt the need of help and intended to get therapy, but he resisted the idea. I saw Dr. Malan at the Tavistock and he said I seemed to be asking for permission, which remark unlocked a door and I started (eclectic). Soon after this I persuaded André to start much needed treatment himself, firstly with Graham Howe [you can't unscramble eggs], and later he became a long-term "patient/friend/son" of George Lyward of Finchden Manor until the latter's death.