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Sonata for Viola and Piano (2009)

for viola and piano
duration: 12 minutes


From liner notes by Elam “Ray” Sprenkle (Emeritus, Peabody Conservatory) for the album 88 + 12, Music for Piano & Strings:

Sonata for Viola and Piano carries the subtitle “From old Notebooks” and is almost completely fashioned from material the composer created when living in London after graduate school. The first movement, a poignant march presented maestoso, alternates two themes, the second theme conjuring overtones of Bohemian folk music. A slower “song without words” follows and is likewise made of alternating themes, the first in duple rhythm, the second distinguished by its triple division. Both are vocally conceived, as if the viola had replaced a singer. A brief, tour-de-force movement concludes the whole, the cinematic music carried by the foreshadowed rhythmic blends.

Listen & Watch

A recording featuring violist Peter Sulski and pianist Geoffrey Burleson is available from Navona Records.

Sonata for Viola and Piano; Andante maestoso

Sonata for Viola and Piano: Adagio molto

Sonata for Viola and Piano: Presto risoluto



Here’s a video of the premiere by violist Jennifer Murray and me performing the piece on the January, 2013 concert of the Composers’ Society of Montgomery County in Silver Spring, MD

View Score