Opus 561

Sonata No. 2 for Violin and Piano (2004)

for Violin and Piano

Ostap Shutko, violin; Natalia Tolmacheva, piano

Duration: 12 min.

Dedication: for Ostap Shutko

Commission: Commissioned for Ostap Shutko

Publisher: Lauren Keiser Music Publishing

Performance materials available from the publisher.

Sonata No. 2 for Violin and Piano (2004) was commissioned for and is dedicated to the superb Ukranian violinist Ostap Shutko.  The work is in three movements—two outer movements of intensity surrounding a respite in the middle movement.

The first movement, Arias, begins with a cantilena sung by the violin over a piano part built on a five note theme in the bass.  A middle section emerges where the piano presents a sense of otherworldly resonance (with the pedal depressed for extended periods) over which the violin transforms fragments of the well-known Advent plainchant, Veni, Veni Emmanuel.  The final section returns to the texture of the opening cantilena, followed by a brief coda which recalls the plainchant.

The second movement, Interlude, is a song without words.  It is a moment of repose—or a recollection of a different time.

The third movement, Fantasy, begins with a dramatic and declamatory section.  Fast and somewhat jumpy music follows which builds to a seemingly grand climax.  The fast music returns but tapers off suddenly.  After a brief reprise of the opening declamatory music, the violin begins a desolate downward melody before fixating on a single note—seeking a repose which seems distant and unattainable.  The piano eventually provides a conclusion.