Back to Music Back to Chamber

Sonata for Cello and Piano (2009, rev. 2013)

for cello and piano
duration: 21 minutes


From a review of the album 88 + 12, Music for Piano & Strings by music critic, historian, pianist, and composer Rob Haskins:

The spirit of Brahms is particularly strong in the masterly cello sonata. In fact, the first movement is a straightforward sonata form with a particularly inventive development. It also has a certain autumnal sensibility that I associate with Brahms. The second movement, a scherzo, makes still other allusions: Bruckner in the scherzo proper and, in the trio, very subtle stylistic nods to Ravel and Barber—but all the allusions are very, very subtle and folded seamlessly into Pender’s own manner. The finale, titled “Chaconne,” really more resembles a late Beethoven variation set, though many of the harmonies come directly from the chains of fourth-related chords that show up in much rock and popular music; in the breathtaking coda, Pender shortens the cycle of chords along with powerful intensification of the repetition and rhythmic verve: it is one of the most satisfying endings to a composition I’ve heard in a long time.


A recording featuring cellist David Russell and pianist Geoffrey Burleson is available from Navona Records.

Molto moderato

Con vivo

Chaconne: Andante comodo


View Score