Piano Sonata - first movement

Year of composition
Difficult (Grades 7+)
15 minutes
Modern classical music
Solo instrument (Piano)
Instrumental parts
Not available

The opening movement is based on traditional sonata form. The first theme in C minor is despairing but lyrical and flowing. It gives way to a more hopeful second theme starting in G major. I see the first movement as being a contrast of these themes of despair and hope. A transitional motif is heard in between them. This motif is heard throughout all four movements. There is an long development section, the mood changes from reflective to jazzy and aggressive, from slow to fast to slow. At the climax of the development there is a big statement of the second theme with rapid arpeggios across the top end of the piano. The mood then calms and there is a surprise reference to the jazz style of Errol Garner and Dudley Moore - both of whom made a big impression on me. (I met up with Dudley and transcribed an number of his works before and after his death). Then follows the recap of the two main themes in the home key of C minor and C major followed by a brief coda.

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