Sonata for Piano and Percussion (23:00)

Sonata for Piano and Percussion is scored for three percussionists and piano.  It is at times a chamber piano concerto and at other times a percussion ensemble that includes piano. It draws inspiration from Bartok and George Crumb.  An introduction, four major movements, and a coda feature piano.  Three interludes emphasize non-pitched percussion.  The nine sections flow in a continuous performance, telling a story of creation, discovery, exploration, and realization.

Beginning (3:05) – An atmospheric and slow start, with piano eventually articulating the main theme, inspired by Bartok’s Sonata for Two Pianos and Percussion, that is transformed in the ensuing movements.  Energy manifests into form.

Awakening (3:05) is in sonata form with mallet percussion echoing piano gestures.  Piano states the first theme as form comes alive.  The second theme is more active, with statements from all the players. A short development is very active, ending in a quiet pause which leads to a brief recapitulation and a coda of sustained chords.

Interlude 1 – Wood (1:10) A marimba solo is accompanied by temple blocks, wood blocks, and claves.

Exploration (3:25) starts tentatively, in a slow melodic flow, but with an underlying fast tempo.  The energy moves from tentative and gentle to active and dynamic.  The development expresses a larger dynamic then settles into a pause before the theme returns.  Another chordal coda ends the movement.

Interlude 2 – Drums (1:15) Timpani lead the way through a constantly active rhythm.  Snare drum has something distinctive to say as well.

Excitement (2:40)  Piano introduces the first theme, a toccata-like figure with mallets along for the ride. Mallets lead a quasi ostinato middle transition theme followed by a fierce chordal second theme from the piano. Again a pause leads to a restatement of the theme, and another chordal coda brings the excitement to an end.

Interlude 3 – Metal (1:40) The texture of Beginning returns, with vibraphone and piano leading the way, accented with metallic gestures and statements from crotales and glockenspiel.

Realizations (4:55) starts with a rhythmic accompaniment for the piano’s opening theme, interspersed with themes from prior movements.  A second theme appears after a series of descending fast runs.  The development features variations on themes from this and prior movements.  The pulsing rhythm marks the start of thematic restatements.

Ending (2:00) is an extended chordal coda – a series of dense rising chords accented with metallic touches.  The piano is supported by vibraphone, glockenspiel and crotales. 

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