Program notes

Sonatina for solo violin, opus 66a (2007)

The work is titled Sonatina because it has some flamboyant and effervescent qualities contrasted with sadder and more soulful passages and also because it is in one movement. Getting the balance of mood in the piece was the biggest challenge. There is an inner dialogue for the player – both on a contrapuntal level of ideas contrasted over time and on an emotional level.  It is as if there should be a performance in which statements are made and then self-effaced but still felt deeply; self-contradictions perhaps.

There is a hint of folk-styles of violin playing with the use of short-lived drones and the use of pizzicato to almost suggest a band of players.  In interpretation, it calls for some freedom of tempo – it should never be rushed (except where it rushes) and ideas always need time to speak. The piece is about 8 minutes duration and is in a spiral-rondo form – – an ABACA of sorts. That means when the A comes back it’s transformed and ideas also accumulate from section to section – hence the idea of the spiral shape and spiral motion (which may be down or up!). It could be that the ‘real’, or pure, A is at the end  –  depending on the direction of travel.

The piece was written in early 2007 for performance by Jennifer Pike at The Wigmore Hall in March 2007 to form a part of concert celebrations for David Takeno’s sixtieth birthday. The work is dedicated, in memoriam, to Barbara Takeno.

© Andrew Schultz, 2007.