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Percussion (1 performer)
1 movement: marimba (range: A[possibly c] - c´´´´)
2 movement: 4 bongos, 2 high tom-toms (single head), 6 temple-blocks, small bell
3 movement: Glockenspiel, vibraphone, tubular chimes, marimba, 4 bongos, 2 tom-toms, suspended cymbal (low), swizzle cymbal, 2 tam-tams (high)
Sonata consists of three movements. Although no traditional forms have been applied, the piece has clear connotations to classical sonata archetype and its character of movements and sound images. The first movement reminds a short overture, very energetic and vivid in its pointillistic texture. Piano part plays the leading role here. The second movement is a tender adagio, where soft and lyric substance is paradoxically expressed by passages played on bongos, tom-toms and temple-blocks. Unpitched percussion instruments prevail in this weird adagio, while piano joints them with short and delicate chords thrown about all registers, as if reflecting sound character of the percussion part. The dramatic final movement, filled with virtuosic elements in both parts, becomes the semantic centre of the work. It starts with light and soft passages of scherzo character which are gradually transformed into more expressive and dense sections followed by extended climax zone. The dramatic tension comes down at the very end of the piece in a soft melody of a Glockenspiel.
Music language of Sonata is derived from free atonal technique. It also includes some elements of traditional tonality – exactly triads that play an important role in the final movement. Rhythmical irregularity, dissonant harmony, dence polyphonic interlacements, pointillism and sonoristic textures are connected here with such traditional, even romantic qualities as open emotionalism, dramatic tension and lyricism.
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© 2000 by Alexander Shchetynsky