Sonata for Piano No.1

on a purpose-selected tone row


1. Allegro elusivo
2. Scherzo - Trio - Tempo I
3. Lento
4. Vivace assai

Date Duration Listen
15 May 2012 26'37" Realization (.MP3) Score (.PDF)
36.5 MB 423 KB

Pressured to assess this composition in a single, apt phrase, I would purse my lips and respond: "lightly-polished insipidities." The tone row (by way of experiment) came from one extreme end of the harmonic spectrum in my register of potential rows (there is a minor second in the incipit root progression, though diatonicians might be tempted to recognize it as a mediant-subdominant relationship), but the exotic row is not to blame for want of invention in the melodic lines. The composer alone must bear that responsibility.

This being the first of my compositions ever to bear the designation "sonata," I was careful to fashion the first movement in something resembling a sonata-allegro form. Certain purists will, of course, grumble that the form cannot be produced without explicit reference to diatonic keys, but more generous and liberal minds should recognize a more modern (Hindemithian) tonal system is at work here in the elaboration of the tone row. In any event, I submit that this Allegro elusivo contains an exposition in C with first and second subjects, a development in G, and a recapitulation in C. If that does not define the simplest of all possible sonata-allegro forms, then I have been reading the wrong treatises all my life.

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