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Sonata for Violin and Piano
(Performed/recorded by the composer)
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Mr. Zinos, I appreciate your encouragement. Thanks for taking the time to listen!
Thanks Michael. I appreciate your observations, you are quite astute! I do favor the idea of keeping both instruments strong in a Sonata format (i.e. Brahms, Beethoven). As you noted regarding the first part of movement 4, I gave the violin more of a solo with accompaniment from the piano. I have come to the conclusion that most audiences these days prefer conciseness and brevity, mostly due to our 3.5 minute pop-radio culture (not than I'm against anything longer, per se).
When I write out of my imagination, it seems like the material should be easily worked up and performed. But this time, as I was the performer getting the brunt of my own ideas, I was amazed at the time and effort it took to prepare myself for recording...a good lesson when I start getting 'adventurous' in my writing for others!
First Movement: Sprightly, exuberant, dazzling violin writing. Only possible suggestion: the piano seems to be competing too much with the violin, which clearly has the lion’s share of thematic material. What if you took out some of the frequent arpeggios, and just had some chordal accompaniment here and there? But I hesitate to offer suggestions on what is a very polished and sophisticated piece. I greatly enjoyed it.
Second movement: Lovely, pensive, plaintive. You obviously believe in democracy, the piano again is very active. But in that case, why not give it some of the themes? Perhaps that happens later…
Third movement: Very cool. I love how you get cute with the violin towards the end – a little aside to Ravel perhaps, with the banjo effect? And again, a very busy piano. Clearly, you think of a sonata for two as being between two equals. Usually, the violin takes precedence. But you like both parts to be equally active. And I’m sure you’re right, if that is your style.
Fourth movement: Great double stop writing! Then a wonderfully expansive melodic section. I love your melodies, they are so light and airy. Effective doubling of violin and piano. Nice use of pizzicato. Great rhythms in the piano. A fresh and final ending.
Overall: I love the fact that you write short movements. I think Violin sonatas were meant to have short movements, unless you’re Franck. Or Beethoven. This is on the whole outstanding, should be a contest winner for sure.
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