for Cello and Piano (2012)
Like many of the plethora of pieces in the sonata literature, historical and modern, my Sonata for cello and piano explores abstract musical material without any direct imagery or narrative. It is composed in three succinct movements, all of which are played attacca and form one longer, uninterrupted structure.
The first movement opens with a thunderous glissando in the low register of the piano, on both the black and white keys. After the cello responds with several wild, jagged melodic phrases, the music develops by spinning out two contrasting themes: first a punctuated, rhythmic theme, followed by a lyrical theme, the latter eventually spiraling upward into the highest registers of both instruments.
After a brief return to the opening glissandos, the second movement immediately follows--a subdued, hazy, intermezzo-like episode. This short movement, which is really an elaboration of a motive heard in the first, serves as a brief respite between its outer neighbors; the extensive activity of the third movement then comes with a vengeance.
Duration: ca. 9 minutes
March 11, 2013
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Nathaniel Pierce, cello; Keith Allegretti, piano