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Sonata (2009)

for solo piano

Instrumentation:  piano.



I. Ominous

II. Very slow, reverberant

III. Wild


Duration: 16 minutes


Program Notes:

For the past eight years, I have been concentrating on composing orchestral and chamber music, and this commission (from the Texas Music Teachers Association) allowed me to compose a solo work once again for my own instrument, the piano. I also took it as an opportunity to write for my wonderful colleague Brian Connelly, faculty pianist at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music. In many ways, this work is a traditional Piano Sonata in three contrasting movements. The first movement begins with muted sounds inside the piano, which give way to the movement’s characteristic rhythmic motive in the bass part of the keyboard. This motive is developed within a traditional sonata form structure that includes a more lyrical, contrasting secondary theme (in the treble part of the keyboard), a development section and recapitulation. The second movement begins with soft, reverberating harmonies at the top of the keyboard. These harmonies gradually build and expand until a brief, final explosion of sound results in a rapid accelerando figure – only to return to the quiet stillness of the opening. The third movement is a rapid, virtuoso, toccata-like work, which makes use of a recurring repeated note figure, gradually expanding to all parts of the keyboard.


-- Pierre Jalbert

© 2016 Pierre Jalbert, Sonata for solo piano

Photo:  Julia Jalbert

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