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Sonata for Cello and Piano



My cello sonata was written in 1980 while I was in graduate school at Michigan State University. This seems long ago to me, like recalling a high-school romance. Like many composers, I have thrown away a number of my student works, yet the sonata is a work I still believe in (at least I think I do, considering that everything a composer believes is saturated with self-interest).


The cello sonata is neo-classic in style, i.e. it contains elements that are both modern and traditional. On the modern side is its dissonant harmonic language (which musicians usually perceive as more spicy than harsh). The structure, phrasing, and interaction between the instruments is quite traditional. The first movement is an energetic fugue, heavily influenced by the last movement of the Brahms’ 1st cello sonata. The second movement is slow, and moves through a number of expressive themes. The third movement is a fast, high-energy finale.


The Sonata for Cello and Piano won the Grand Prize in the 1982 Delius Composition Competition, and in 1998 a Capstone Records recording contract from the Society of Composers.


Listen to cellist Lawrence Granger of the San Francisco Symphony and pianist Audrey Andrist play Sonata for Cello and Piano


  I. Fugue 4:20


 II. Largo teneramente  7:30


III. Allegro  5:15

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