10 Best Clarinet Concertos of All Time

We have scoured the clarinet repertoire and YouTube to find you the best clarinet concertos. We’ve selected what we believe to be the 10 best clarinet concertos. Listen below and enjoy!


1. Copland: Clarinet Concerto

This beautiful clarinet concerto was written in between 1947 and 1948 by Aaron Copland. He was inspired to write this concerto on his Latin America tour. He was deeply influenced by Brazilian folk music. It was used as the musical setup in the famous ballet The Pied Piper.

The combination of Rhapsody and meditative music with rhythm will create a dramatic mood for sure. This slow and expressive composition with a loneliness feeling has two movements.

  1. Slow and expressive cadenza
  2. Rather a fast rondo

Instruments: This beautiful composition is scored with Solo Clarinet, Piano, Harps, and Strings.


2. Weber: Clarinet Concerto No. 2

This composition was written in 1811. Starting with orchestral work, the composition has melodic material. It starts with virtuosic allegro movement and then goes on with glittery passages that make it a brilliant piece of art. This powerful concerto will cheer you up for sure.

With 23 minutes typical performance, it has three movements. They are:

  1. Allegro
  2. Romanze: Andante con moto
  3. Alla Polacca

Instruments: This superb composition is scored for Solo Clarinet and an Orchestra consists of 2 Flutes, 2 Bassoons, 2 Oboes, 2 Horns, 2 Trumpets, Timpani, and Strings.


3. Brahms: Clarinet Sonata No. 2 in E flat

Romantic composer Brahms wrote this sonata in 1894. This is one of the modest clarinet sonatas of all time. This rich-textured and songful music will create romance in your mind. The lyrical melodic opening and closing movement will take you to heaven, no wonder!

This beautiful clarinet sonata is consists of three movements. They include:

  1. Allegro amabile
  2. Allegro appassionato
  3. Andante con moto-Allegro

Instruments: This composition is scored for Solo Clarinet and Piano.


4. Bernstein: Sonata for Clarinet and Piano

Bernstein wrote this piece while he was a student at the Curtis Institute and clearly, this was his first published composition. This American sounding with jazzy syncopations is good enough to take your breath away. You will get lost with the melodic and lyrical work, no doubt!

This awesome piece of art is about ten minutes long and has two movements.

  1. Grazioso: Un poco piu mosso
  2. Andantino: Vivace e leggier

Instruments: This composition is scored with Solo Clarinet and Piano.


5. Gershwin: Rhapsody in Blue

This beautiful composition was composed by American composer Gershwin. He wrote it for solo clarinet and jazz band. Clearly, it is a fusion of classical music and jazz effects. The powerful music will create drama and lift up your mood, I can guaranty. This is one of the most popular of all time American concertos.

This superb composition has been popularly featured in many places. It has only one movement.

Instruments: Solo Clarinet, Orchestra, and Piano.


6. Debussy: Premiere Rhapsodie

This first rhapsody by Debussy was written in between December 1908 and January 1910. Debussy was one of the leading composers in France. He wrote this composition for an exam of Paris Conservatory. The original composition is scored for clarinet and piano.

This pleasant composition is good enough to lift up your mood. The soft music will soothe your mind. You’ll feel relieved for a moment. It’ll give you immense pleasure, no doubt!

Instruments: Solo Clarinet and Piano.


7. Arnold: Sonatina for Clarinet and Piano

This composition by Arnold was completed in 1951. It got premiered on the same year at the Gallery of the Royal Society of British Artists in London! It starts with a wild like music and goes on with gentle and lovely rhythms. Nonetheless, you’ll feel peace hearing this beautiful music.

Typically it runs for 8 minutes. The composition includes 3 movements. They are:

  1. Allegro con brio
  2. Andantino
  3. Furioso

Instruments: Solo Clarinet, and Piano.


8. Finzi: Clarinet Concerto

This extremely lyrical and audience-friendly composition will soothe your mind for a moment. This beautiful work is written by Finzi which was recorded in 1977. All the instruments create a generous melody which will seduce you for sure.

With the change of movements, you will experience different climax. This happy music will bring joy to your mind for sure. It has three movements.

  1. Allegro vigoroso
  2. Adagio, ma senza rigore
  3. Allegro giocoso

Instruments: Solo Clarinet, and Piano.


9. Poulenc: Sonata for Clarinet and Piano

This is one of the best compositions of Poulenc. It was written in 1962. The composition has a rhapsodic theme which starts with the fast-slow-fast pattern. The melodic music has its power to make you emotional. There is somewhat sadness in the music.

A typical performance takes about 13 minutes. The composition has 3 movements. They are:

  1. Allegro tristamente
  2. Romanza
  3. Allegro con fuoco

Instruments: This superb composition is scored for  Solo Clarinet and Piano.


10. Neilson. Karl Clarinet Concerto

This last but not the least composition was written in 1928. It has one long movement with four different themes. The themes are quite distinctive. It starts with a twisting and leisurely theme. It has stormy strife. The final theme is much energetic but ends with a calm severity.

This powerful song will boost you up. You’ll feel the energy as well as it will soothe your mind. As I said earlier, it has one long movement with 4 parts. They are:

  1. Allegretto un poco
  2. Poco adagio
  3. Allegro non-troppo
  4. Allegro vivace

Instruments: Solo Clarinet, Orchestras, and Drums.