Entering my Sonata #3: Progress


I have started entering a lot more passages from my “Piano Sonata #3” from 1962, and then 1974, in Sibelius 7.5 on a new MacBook in an OS 10.2 Yosemite platform.

The first two movements, and most of the slow movement were composed in the spring of 1962, after I had entered George Washington University and was “living at home” after my William and Mary “expulsion” for admitting “latent homosexuality” the previous November. My father had experienced a mild “heart attack” over the stress and was sometimes unnerved by the volume of classical music coming up from the basement.  Some of the music, especially a theme in the slow movement, recalls that period.

I finished the slow movement and sketched out a finale while living in Piscataway, NJ in 1974, and traveling back and forth to St Paul MN while working for Univac.

I’ll give the “names” of the files, really for my own reference (they aren’t online as such), and note how they were entered.

A segment entered manually (“M”) is fitted to the measures exactly.  A segment recorded through the Midi from an electric piano is harder to read and doesn’t match the measures yet.

In the first three movements. all files have the form “Sonata3Mov1,,,: (or Mov2 or Mov3)

First movement

Ein:  Introduction, Molto Moderato, 4/4

E1  Exposition  C Major. Allegro Moderato, 2/2   page 2

E2  Exposition, A minor, second theme, Scherzando, page 3

D1 Development  Adagio, 4/4 no signature

D2   Moderato, F# Major, based on second theme

D2c  twelve tone fugato, Andante, 4/4  tone row based on first theme

About seven pages of development remain to be scored

R1  Recapitulation, 4/4, Eb Minor, based on first theme, Allegro Maestoso,  R2-R4 continue the Recapitulation with a “false start trick” to go to Ab Minor before returning to C for the second theme (to introduce more asymmetry — remember how the Recapitulation of Mozart’s famous C Major Sonata 15 first movement is a mirror of the exposition, starting in F, that’s a little boring). The Coda R5 goes suddenly to minor, Mahler-style, and introduces the descending third fragment to come back in the Finale.

7 pages of recapitulation remain.  The second theme slows down and reappears in C Major.  Then a new descending third “applause” motive appears, and leads to a quiet coda that suddenly turns to minor.

Second movement: Scherzo

E1 and E2:  Main theme, A-flat major, 3/4, Vivace, a lot of octave passage work, repeated rhythm cycles almost like Bruckner.

T1:  Trio, F Major.  This is a comic majestic section with lots of blocked chords in varying rhythms, followed by leggerio passage work, in many cycles.  The trio is long and takes 9 pages (just 2 are coded). There is a deliberately pedantic nature to it.

Main theme returns, briefly

A second trio, in C# Minor, 3/4 waltz (“Valse Triste”) rhythm, much shorter than the first

Main theme returns, about 5 pages, ends in a flourish, FF.

Third Movement: Elegy (slow movement)

E1  starts with a stately introduction, a twelve tone theme, but harmonized artificially in E-flat minor.

It then proceeds to a second theme, in F# Minor,  Adagio, the “father theme”, although there is a little bit of similarity to the slow movement theme of the Hammerklavier, but this is much more florid. (It’s not quite a “chamber of sorrows”).

E2 is a perfunctory fugato in B-flat minor, followed by a reprise of the “father theme”, expanded into octaves and four voices.

Then R1, “Religiosos”, is a 2-minute hymn, slow tempo, in B Major, very chromatic, rather like a Liszt Consolation.  It could be played stand alone (like as a church offertory).  It would work on an organ. It is essentially the “middle section” of the slow movement.

D1 and D2 “develop” the “father” theme and as well as  the opening tone-row.  They build up to a loud climax.

Here, I want to add a “cadenza” with some chordal passages showing how chromaticism and twelve-tone are equivalent, and introduce a fragment of the “Applause” theme for the finale. After great shouts, the movement will play the opening dirge in retrograde, harmonized again in E-flat minor, and close quietly and simply.

The Finale exists in hand sketch, one manually entered opening, then many passages recorded at the Casio.

The opening Allegretto, C Major (nominally) is a fugato  (“MSonat3FinaleS1”), 2/4 but with changing tempi (7/8 at one point), seemingly playful.

The Fugato “development) occurs in E2, E2a, E3a, mixing toccata-like fugal writing with dissonant chords.

The fugato generates a couple more playful themes, almost by asexual budding, as if to defend the introverted, solitary personality. The music becomes more chordal and modal, with tempo changes, until the true “second subject” appears, which I call the “Hold Applause” theme, based on a dream, but appropriate when a pianist wants to assemble a single uninterrupted program from contrasting composers.  The theme starts in F# Major, migrates though minor thirds to C before coming back to F#.  It is hymn-like, and may recall a Chopin military polonaise.

After more perambulations of the scherzo-like theme, the Applause theme occurs again with great majesty as a Rachmaninoff-style big tune, migrating from F# gradually back to C.

Hymn theme files:  HoldAppauseHymn1, HoldApplause1

Conclusion: Su701FsApplauseTheme (more melodic variety toward end), Su702Cfrom FS

(Published Tuesday,  March 17, 2015, 11:50 PM EDT)





Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *