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First Piano Sonata


I composed my SONATA during the second half of 1969, for Robert Miller; many years of close musical collaboration had given me a respect for his abilities that impelled me to undertake the work as a testimony of regard.

It is in two movements, but the work is essentially a single unbroken continuity. Thus the hia­tus between Parts I and II is more a breathing space than a major point of punctuation. An orna­mented two-voice polyphony obtains throughout, but these two structural voices are frequent­ly laden with supplementary material, or otherwise partitioned into a more elaborate surface counterpoint than the two line origin might at first suggest. The entire work unfolds as a large-scale projection of the intervals (in both time and pitch) of its basic set, and the large form of the work may be said to be an articulated response to these basic relations. For the rest, the surface of the work is a celebration of the virtuosity of the performer for whom it was composed.

-CW, 1970