Sonata No. 1 (1982) 
"Images from 'The Far Field' (T. Roethke)"
for Violin and Piano
2.  "To come upon warblers in early May"
(9:29)
 

 

 

 

 

In the early 1980's, I wrote one concert of original chamber music per year for four years.  SONATA NO. 1 - "IMAGES FROM 'THE FAR FIELD' (ROETHKE)" for violin and piano was written for Chamber Concert No. 1 which took place on October 14, 1981.  The concert featured Nancy Livingston and Lenore Lehr, violins, while I played piano and bass.  The other works on the program were Echoes From An Urban Glade (1981) for violin and double bass, and Mobiles (1981) for two violins and double bass.  Stylistically, the music in this concert is as close to freewheeling Minimalism as I ever got.  The music is freely organized in layers, but is much more lyrical and melodic and less textural than the typical Minimalist inspired music of the period.  What interested me about Minimalism was the aligning the organizational factors texturally to a structural grid.  My interest was in doing this WITHOUT strict rhythm.

This work is inspired by Theodore Roethke's poem The Far Field.  Roethke is one of my favorite poets.  The association has been heightened by the fact that he spent the last years of his life in Seattle at the University of Washington, which was where I grew up.  A painter I knew had grown up next door to Roethke.  He said as a child he thought he was a little odd, because he was always pacing around his property deep in thought.  But later, he wished he had gone next door and talked to him sometime.  

The second movement is inspired by the following lines -

For to come upon warblers in early May
Was to forget time and death:
How they filled the oriole's elm, a twittering restless cloud, all one morning,
And I watched and watched till my eyes blurred from the bird shapes. . .

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glenn Stallcop      13842 South 36th Place    Phoenix, AZ   85044   602-621-0630