2004 / SONATA
Sonata for Viola and Pianofor Christopher Keltz
- Movment I
- Movement II
- Movement III
This piece was written for my close friend and colleague Christopher Kelts. We played a lot of music together and he influenced how I write a great deal. This piece, in 3 movements, is written largely in the romantic style. There are soaring lyrical melodies for the viola and piano alike and the instruments are treated equally. Before, during, and after writing this piece, Chris and I spoke at length about the music and composers that we liked. These discussions played a huge part in the composition of this piece. One of the commonalities that we shared at the time was a love for melody and Sonata for Viola and Piano contains more than a few.
The first movement opens with an improvised melody over a piano drone which eventually makes its way to the first of three themes in a sonata form. This movement sounds almost like the overture to a musical theatre piece. As the themes are developed and appear in different musical settings you can picture different scenes in a storyline taking place.
Movement two is written in a more traditional theme and variation form and relies on a subtle chromatic shifting of keys to further develop the material.
The finale pushes the performers to their limits and requires them to adapt to a constantly changing soundscape that manoeuvres between jazz, blues, Bartok-like odd metered dances, and hypnotic minimalist rhythmic patterns. The compositional material for this movement comes from the previous 2 movements and is treated with an exuberant positivity. The overall spirit of the piece captures the vast array of emotions one might experience as a young person away from home for the first time.
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