I sat at the piano in complete silence, my eyes closed. I was searching for ideas to begin writing a violin work Kerenza Peacock had asked of me. It took a while, but I knew my muse would come sooner or later. A star-filled night sky reflected on a still lake suddenly appeared before me; a fresh breeze flew lightly over the water and into the forest, gently brushing the deep-green trees that rustled in response. I could faintly sense, as if far away, the music that filled this enchanting scene. Somehow, I managed to distinguish a few notes. There it was. That was all I needed. I got down to work immediately—after all, like Beethoven said, all one needs is “three percent inspiration and ninety-seven percent effort.” Shortly after, the preliminary draft of the sonata’s introduction lay ready at my desk. The rest of the work, however, did not come as easily, even if several very specific passages did arrive unbidden, as if by peculiar magic. The violin sonata eventually became a substantial piece in four movements. After a slow introduction and lyrical first movement with pastoral atmosphere, comes a recitativo and arioso that not only offers the necessary contrast to the previous movement but also leads directly into the fiery third movement. The ending of this Allegro con fuoco tricks the ear into expecting it to be a finale. The true conclusion, however, is the slow movement proper, ending the work on a note of beauty and transformation.
What is necessary to perform this work?
Please note that the piano part is the full score.