Sonata, 'From the American Songbag' Includes a Set of Two Copies.
Well received by audiences and of immediately accessibility, this sonata derives its thematic materials from folk songs found in Carl Sandburg's anthology "The American Songbag", first published in 1927. The composer has treated the materials with both respect and inventiveness, the end result being a large (22┬') three movement work in traditional forms celebrating the American spirit. This essentially tonal sonata includes many interesting devices (quartal harmonies, whole tone scales, bitonality, etc.) along the way. Certain liberties have been taken with the melodies, mostly of a metric nature. Mvt. I, Rogues and Workers is a sonata-allegro structure formed around four tunes that very cleverly derives all motivic materials, both melodic and accompanimental, from the contours of the songs.The ternary slow movement, Love and other Sorrows, is a chronicle of leave-taking and longing, extremely poignant and expressive. The sparklingly comic finale, Dancin and Foolin, is a witty rondo replete with Haydnesque musical jokes (hemiolas, wrong notes chords, modulations to unexpected keys) and thematic quotations from previous movements as well as from Mozart! Technical requirements are rather advanced throughout the sonata with musical/technical elements distributed equally between the two players. All told, this work serves up a generous and fun slice of Americana.