Coryn, Roland


Coryn, Roland

Sonatina for 2 clarinets in B-flat  (2 copies / first print)


Roland Coryn

Sonatina for 2 clarinets in B-flat (1977)

(Kortrijk, 1938)

Roland Coryn composed this piece in 1977 at the request of the cellist and music teacher Marcel Lequeux for the final chamber music exam of two excellent clarinettists at the Municipal Music Academy of Harelbeke. Coryn had been a student at the Music Academy himself, and later became a teacher and director there. Both clarinettists were students of the clarinettist Gustave De Brauwer and would later become professional musicians. This allowed Coryn to compose a piece that is particularly ambitious and technically demanding for an exam at a music academy.

In his doctoral thesis Yu-Ju Ti* describes the Sonatina as follows: “Roland Coryn’s composing style is very clear in his Sonatine for 2 Clarinets in B-flat and is described as follows: The rhythm and tempo fluctuations are always constructive and purposeful. It is not so much a question of indicating a simple accelerando and ritenuto in the score, which gives the performer much room for interpretation, but rather of making precise demands, as in, for example, the transition from a binary to a ternary rhythm or from a quintuplet to a sextuplet. This can be combined with changes of meter, changes of note-values (from binary to ternary, while keeping the tempo constant), or changes of tempo.

Melody is not of prime importance in Coryn’s music; lyrical melodies are seldom heard. Phrases are often constructed by means of cell-development. In their development, the interval of the second (as well as the seventh and the ninth) is very important, appearing both horizontally and vertically. The meter in all four movements changes frequently (in the third movement the meter changes every measure). Complex rhythm also often occurs throughout the piece.

The first movement is in sonata form and the second movement is in ternary form. The third movement is also in ternary form and the rhythm creates the feelings of a dance. The last movement, which is a canon, could be viewed as being in ABA form as well: the two outer sections (Allegro molto vivo) have one mirror canon section followed by one strict canon section, and the middle section (Lento) is a strict canon. All sections are in intervals of a minor second. Both clarinet parts equally share the melody in the first, second, and fourth movements, but in the third movement the second clarinet mainly plays accompaniment.”

*Yu-Ju Ti, Duo sonatas and sonatinas for two clarinets, or clarinet and another woodwind instrument: an annotated catalog (The Ohio State University, 2009), pp. 72-73.

Duration: 12’10”

Jan Dewilde

This publication is a revised edition by the composer of the 1978 publication by CeBeDeM and has been published in collaboration with the Centre for the Study of Flemish Music (



Read full Flemish preface > HERE

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