During the 1980’s, I developed a goal of writing sonatas or something similar for all the string instruments. The Sonata for Cello and Piano was the last one I wrote, though I didn’t write serious multi-movement work for the double bass, oddly enough, until the 2000’s.
The Sonata for Cello and Piano is written in the Neo-Classical/Neo-Renaissance style that I used for most of the 1980’s. It combines a spiraling expository process with more traditional forms.
The first movement is rather standard sonata form, complete with a repeat after the exposition. The timing really needs the repeat, and I suggest taking it. It is quite lyrical and delicate at times.
The second movement uses a modified binary form, but I have eliminated the traditional repeats. The spiraling of the material is more obvious in this movement, especially in the first half, and it is more dramatic than the first movement. The movement ends with a lyrical but dramatic mini-cadenza for the cello. The third movement is effective when played attacca.
The-third movement is a spirited and virtuosic rondo. It is rather equally balanced with busy solo passages for both the cello and piano. The telescoping passage at the end brings it to a rousing conclusion.
The Sonata for Cello and Piano was first performed by Duo West, Ian Ginsberg, cello, and Sherry Lenich, piano, in Tempe, AZ in October of 2004. They are the fine performers on these videos.