Saturday, 29 November 2014

Piano Sonata No. 4 in E Minor

Music is always around.

The real challenge to the composer is to grasp it, sort it out and then try to make sense of it all so that ultimately the completed opus will also make sense to the listener. 

Sadly, and too often, music in this random format is regurgitated and foisted upon the unsuspecting ignorant as fine art when in reality it is nothing more than the disorganized nonsense it really is. 

Having stated the foregoing, am I any less guilty of simply compiling more nonsense?

The listener shall ultimately make that verdict.

Work on the 4th piano sonata commenced in 2005 and was completed in 2008.

One limitation of the music notation program used is the inability to show assigned metronome settings on printed versions therefore, they are given as follows:

I   Allegro appassionato – 108 quarter notes per minute
II  Andante moderato ma cantabile – 72 quarter notes per minute
III Andante ma agitato; Allegretto – 82 quarter notes per minute; 88 quarter notes per minute

Although titled a piano sonata, the music composition in both the expected structure and required harmonic modulations do not in any sense adhere to the traditional sonata form. Having said this however, a sonata-like form and structure are evident in each movement.

The opening theme of the first movement was first conceived in 1974 during the Vancouver years but never progressed beyond a being a forgotten musical idea jotted down in a music notation book. Thirty-one years later the ideas finally took shape.

The Andante movement was incidental music written for Kimberly’s wedding however, the work was never performed. Later incorporated into the sonata as a slower middle movement, the softer timbres of A flat Major provide the needed contrast.

Three attempts were required to finally write and complete the finale. The incomplete first two versions were considered unsatisfactory and have been set aside as musical compost to possibly revisit at later dates.

“Better is a handful of quietness than two hands full of toil and a striving after the wind.”
(Ecclesiastes 4:6)

Does the world want or need one more piece of music that will never be good enough, never be performed, never be heard and never be known?

Music composition is so often nothing more than striving after the wind with two hands full of toil. Perhaps not writing another music composition is the handful of quietness that our noisy world truly needs.

March 15, 2011
The Oddblock Station Agent 

Sample from the opening:

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