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Piano Sonata No. 1

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My Piano Sonata was written for the virtuoso pianist Stephen Gosling and is dedicated to the memory of my Aunt Jacqueline List. Her favorite piece of music was “Rhapsody in Blue” so the very opening of the work suggests the opening of “Rhapsody in Blue” The sonata is in three movements the first being very rhythmic and passionate. The “struggle” of the entire sonata is the continual contrast between rhythmically aggressive music and more lyrical style. This can be heard both on the micro level in each individual movement and the macro level. The music of the two outer movements are more rhythmically driving in contrast to the second movement which is a slow lyrical “dream piece” The second movement continually unfolds and becomes more urgent in its rhythmic direction. The third movement is in Rondo form with it’s repetition of the of the opening section. Inter-dispersed are more flowing sections that attempt to balance out the more aggressive style. It is only at the end of the sonata where the true resolution is found with an improvisation based on the musical letters of my aunt’s name.
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