Hofmeyr’s Sonata for Clarinet and Piano is in three movements. The first movement, in free sonata form, is based on four themes. The first theme evolves from the main motif of the movement (x), an arpeggio figure consisting of alternating minor sixths and major thirds. The second theme consists of ample melodic phrases heard against a faster stepwise motif. The chords that accompany the virtually static third theme are generated from the main motif. The latter is also developed together with the slower fourth theme (Lugubre), which is announced in the dark low register of the clarinet. In the development section, the second theme is combined firstly with the first and then with the third theme, after which a canonic development of the fourth theme leads back to an abbreviated recapitulation which ends with references to x.
The meditative slow movement (Sognante) is in ternary form. The A section is based on a widely arched theme announced by the clarinet. The brief middle section (Poco piu mosso) is more expressive in character and ends with a canonic cadenza for the two instruments, which leads to a shortened reprise of the A section, but now with canonic imitation by the piano. In the coda elements of both themes are fused into a new melody, which is again echoed by the piano.
The third movement is a free adaptation of sonata-rondo form. The first section features a main motif (a) which alternates as ritornello with three other ideas (b, c and d). In the middle section (Misterioso), x from the first movement is reintroduced, and then combined with the main theme of the slow movement and the dark fourth theme of the first movement, first separatley and then combined with the main theme of the second movement. Brief references to d, c and b conclude the work.
Score and part included: Clarinet in Bb