Duration: 14 minutes
Commissioned by: Peter Dutilly
Performed by: Peter Dutilly (viola) and Galen Dean Peiskee (piano)
Sonata for Viola and Piano is written for friend and violist Peter Dutilly. The work is about fourteen minutes long and written in three movements. The original draft of the piece began in the summer of 2014, but the piece was not completed until the summer of 2015.
The first movement “Flowing – à la Curtis-Smith” is written in a quasi-sonata allegro form using a compositional technique I learned as a student of Curtis Curtis-Smith. Curtis passed away in the summer of 2014 and I decided to remember him in my music by employing a method of composition he famously used in the first movement of his Second Piano Trio. “Flowing – à la Curtis-Smith” features a series of ninety-nine notes, which can be heard developing throughout. The second movement “Somber and Ominous” features moments that are oppressively solemn as the music reflects a state of sadness and uncertainty. The middle section is hopeful and contemplative, using techniques observed in the music of Aaron Jay Kernis. The final movement “Bombastic and Lively” is written in a quasi-rondo form designed to showcase the technical skills of the violist and pianist. It is very fast and should be performed roughly in 3 minutes and 3 seconds.